Form 497 GOLDMAN SACHS TRUST

December 14, 2020 5:27 PM

PART B

STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

DATED APRIL 29, 2020, AS SUPPLEMENTED DECEMBER 14, 2020

 

FUND    CLASS A
SHARES
   CLASS C
SHARES
   INSTITUTIONAL
SHARES
   SERVICE
SHARES
   INVESTOR
SHARES
   CLASS R
SHARES
  

CLASS R6

SHARES

   CLASS P
SHARES

GOLDMAN SACHS DYNAMIC GLOBAL EQUITY FUND

   GAPAX    GAXCX    GAPIX    GAPSX    GAPTX    GAPRX    GAPUX    GADPX

(a series of Goldman Sachs Trust)

71 South Wacker Drive

Chicago, Illinois 60606

This Statement of Additional Information (the “SAI”) is not a prospectus. This SAI should be read in conjunction with the prospectuses for the Goldman Sachs Dynamic Global Equity Fund (the “Fund”), dated April 29, 2020, as they may be amended and/or supplemented from time to time (the “Prospectuses”), which may be obtained without charge from Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC by calling the telephone numbers or writing to one of the addresses listed below or from institutions (“Intermediaries”) acting on behalf of their customers.

The audited financial statements and related report of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, independent registered public accounting firm for the Fund, contained in the Fund’s 2019 Annual Report are incorporated herein by reference in the section titled “FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.” No other portions of the Fund’s Annual Report are incorporated herein by reference. The Fund’s Annual Report may be obtained upon request and without charge by calling Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC toll free at 1-800-526-7384 (for Class A, Class C, Class R and Investor Shareholders) or 1-800-621-2550 (for Class R6, Institutional, Service and Class P Shareholders).

GSAM® is a registered service mark of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

INTRODUCTION

     B-1  

INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE AND POLICIES

     B-1  

DESCRIPTION OF INVESTMENT SECURITIES AND PRACTICES

     B-1  

INVESTMENT RESTRICTIONS

     B-61  

TRUSTEES AND OFFICERS

     B-62  

MANAGEMENT SERVICES

     B-74  

POTENTIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

     B-80  

PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS AND BROKERAGE

     B-92  

NET ASSET VALUE

     B-95  

SHARES OF THE TRUST

     B-97  

TAXATION

     B-100  

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

     B-106  

PROXY VOTING

     B-106  

PAYMENTS TO OTHERS (INCLUDING INTERMEDIARIES)

     B-107  

OTHER INFORMATION

     B-112  

OTHER INFORMATION REGARDING MAXIMUM SALES CHARGE, PURCHASES, REDEMPTIONS, EXCHANGES AND DIVIDENDS

     B-115  

DISTRIBUTION AND SERVICE PLANS

     B-118  

SERVICE PLAN AND SHAREHOLDER ADMINISTRATION PLAN

     B-120  

CONTROL PERSONS AND PRINCIPAL HOLDERS OF SECURITIES

     B-122  

APPENDIX A DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES RATINGS

     1-A  

APPENDIX B GSAM PROXY VOTING GUIDELINES SUMMARY

     1-B  

APPENDIX C STATEMENT OF INTENTION

     1-C  


GOLDMAN SACHS ASSET MANAGEMENT, L.P.

Investment Adviser

200 West Street

New York, NY 10282

GOLDMAN SACHS & CO. LLC

Distributor

200 West Street

New York, NY 10282

GOLDMAN SACHS & CO. LLC

Transfer Agent

71 South Wacker Drive

Chicago, IL 60606

Toll-free (in U.S.) 800-621-2550 (for Class R6, Institutional, Service and Class P Shareholders) or 800-526-7384 (for Class A, Class C, Class R and Investor Shareholders).


INTRODUCTION

Goldman Sachs Trust (the “Trust”) is an open-end management investment company. The Trust is organized as a Delaware statutory trust and was established by a Declaration of Trust dated January 28, 1997. The Trust is a successor to a Massachusetts business trust that was combined with the Trust on April 30, 1997. The Trust is organized as a Delaware statutory trust and was established by a Declaration of Trust dated January 28, 1997. The following series of the Trust is described in this SAI: Goldman Sachs Dynamic Global Equity Fund (formerly, the Goldman Sachs Equity Growth Strategy Portfolio).

The Trustees of the Trust have authority under the Declaration of Trust to create and classify shares into separate series and to classify and reclassify any series or portfolio of shares into one or more classes without further action by shareholders. Pursuant thereto, the Trustees have created the Fund and other series. Additional series may be added in the future from time to time. The Fund currently offers eight classes of Shares: Class A Shares, Class C Shares, Institutional Shares, Service Shares, Investor Shares, Class R Shares, Class R6 Shares and Class P Shares. See “SHARES OF THE TRUST.”

Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. (“GSAM” or the “Investment Adviser”), an affiliate of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC (“Goldman Sachs”), serves as the investment adviser to the Fund. In addition, Goldman Sachs serves as the Fund’s distributor (the “Distributor”) and transfer agent (the “Transfer Agent”). The Fund’s custodian is State Street Bank and Trust Company (“State Street”).

The following information relates to and supplements the description of the Fund’s investment objective and policies contained in the Prospectuses. See the Prospectuses for a more complete description of the Fund’s investment objective and policies. Investing in the Fund entails certain risks, and there is no assurance that the Fund will achieve its objective. Capitalized terms used but not defined herein have the same meaning as in the Prospectuses.

INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE AND POLICIES

The Fund has a distinct investment objective and policies. There can be no assurance that the Fund’s investment objective will be achieved. The Fund is a diversified series of an open-end management investment company as defined in the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Act”). The investment objective and policies of the Fund, and the associated risks of the Fund, are discussed in the Fund’s Prospectuses, which should be read carefully before an investment is made. All investment objectives and investment policies not specifically designated as fundamental may be changed without shareholder approval. However, shareholders will be provided with sixty days’ notice in the manner prescribed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) before any change in the Fund’s policy to invest, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of its net assets plus any borrowings for investment purposes (measured at time of purchase) (“Net Assets”) in a diversified portfolio of global equity asset classes. Additional information about the Fund, its policies, and the investment instruments it may hold is provided below.

The Fund’s share price will fluctuate with market, economic and, to the extent applicable, foreign exchange conditions, so that an investment in the Fund may be worth more or less when redeemed than when purchased. The Fund should not be relied upon as a complete investment program.

The Investment Adviser is subject to registration and regulation as a “commodity pool operator” under the Commodity Exchange Act, as amended (the “CEA”) with respect to its service as investment adviser to the Fund.

DESCRIPTION OF INVESTMENT SECURITIES AND PRACTICES

The Fund and/or one or more of the underlying funds in which it invests may have exposure to the following investment securities and practices. The investment securities and practices and related risks applicable to the Fund and/or one or more of the underlying funds in which it invests are presented below in alphabetical order, and not in the order of importance or potential exposure.

Asset-Backed Securities

The Fund may invest in asset-backed securities. Asset-backed securities represent participations in, or are secured by and payable from, assets such as motor vehicle installment sales, installment loan contracts, leases of various types of real and personal property, receivables from revolving credit (credit card) agreements and other categories of receivables. Such assets are securitized through the use of trusts and special purpose corporations. Payments or distributions of principal and interest may be guaranteed up to certain amounts and for a certain time period by a letter of credit or a pool insurance policy issued by a financial institution unaffiliated with the trust or corporation, or other credit enhancements may be present.

 

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Such securities are often subject to more rapid repayment than their stated maturity date would indicate as a result of the pass- through of prepayments of principal on the underlying loans. During periods of declining interest rates, prepayment of loans underlying asset-backed securities can be expected to accelerate. Accordingly, the Fund’s ability to maintain positions in such securities will be affected by reductions in the principal amount of such securities resulting from prepayments, and its ability to reinvest the returns of principal at comparable yields is subject to generally prevailing interest rates at that time. To the extent that the Fund invests in asset- backed securities, the values of the Fund’s portfolio securities will vary with changes in market interest rates generally and the differentials in yields among various kinds of asset-backed securities.

Asset-backed securities present certain additional risks because asset-backed securities generally do not have the benefit of a security interest in collateral that is comparable to mortgage assets. Credit card receivables are generally unsecured and the debtors on such receivables are entitled to the protection of a number of state and federal consumer credit laws, many of which give such debtors the right to set-off certain amounts owed on the credit cards, thereby reducing the balance due. Automobile receivables generally are secured, but by automobiles rather than residential real property. Most issuers of automobile receivables permit the loan servicers to retain possession of the underlying obligations. If the servicer were to sell these obligations to another party, there is a risk that the purchaser would acquire an interest superior to that of the holders of the asset-backed securities. In addition, because of the large number of vehicles involved in a typical issuance and technical requirements under state laws, the trustee for the holders of the automobile receivables may not have a proper security interest in the underlying automobiles. Therefore, if the issuer of an asset-backed security defaults on its payment obligations, there is the possibility that, in some cases, the Fund will be unable to possess and sell the underlying collateral and that the Fund’s recoveries on repossessed collateral may not be available to support payments on these securities.

Mortgage-related and other asset-backed securities are subject to certain additional risks. Generally, rising interest rates tend to extend the duration of fixed rate mortgage-backed securities, making them more sensitive to changes in interest rates. As a result, in a period of rising interest rates, if the Fund holds mortgage-backed securities, it may exhibit additional volatility. This is known as extension risk. In addition, adjustable and fixed rate mortgage-backed securities are subject to prepayment risk. When interest rates decline, borrowers may pay off their mortgages sooner than expected. This can reduce the returns of the Fund because the Fund may have to reinvest that money at the lower prevailing interest rates. The Fund’s investments in other asset-backed securities are subject to risks similar to those associated with mortgage-backed securities, as well as additional risks associated with the nature of the assets and the servicing of those assets. The Fund may invest in mortgage-backed securities issued by the U.S. Government (see “U.S. Government Securities Risk”). To the extent that the Fund invests in mortgage-backed securities offered by non-governmental issuers, such as commercial banks, savings and loan institutions, private mortgage insurance companies, mortgage bankers and other secondary market issuers, the Fund may be subject to additional risks. Timely payment of interest and principal of non-governmental issuers are supported by various forms of private insurance or guarantees, including individual loan, title, pool and hazard insurance purchased by the issuer. There can be no assurance that the private insurers can meet their obligations under the policies. An unexpectedly high rate of defaults on the mortgages held by a mortgage pool may adversely affect the value of a mortgage-backed security and could result in losses to the Fund. The risk of such defaults is generally higher in the case of mortgage pools that include subprime mortgages. Subprime mortgages refer to loans made to borrowers with weakened credit histories or with a lower capacity to make timely payments on their mortgages.

Asset Segregation

As an investment company registered with the SEC, the Fund must identify on its books (often referred to as “asset segregation”) liquid assets, or engage in other SEC- or SEC staff- approved or other appropriate measures, to “cover” open positions with respect to certain kinds of derivative instruments. In the case of swaps, futures contracts, options, forward contracts and other derivative instruments that do not cash settle, for example, the Fund must identify on its books liquid assets equal to the full notional amount of the instrument while the positions are open, to the extent there is not a permissible offsetting position or a contractual “netting” agreement with respect to swaps (other than credit default swaps where the Fund is the protection seller). However, with respect to certain swaps, futures contracts, options, forward contracts and other derivative instruments that are required to cash settle, the Fund may identify liquid assets in an amount equal to the Fund’s daily marked-to-market net obligations (i.e., the Fund’s daily net liability) under the instrument, if any, rather than its full notional amount. Forwards and futures contracts that do not cash settle may be treated as cash settled for asset segregation purposes when the Fund has entered into a contractual arrangement with a third party futures commission merchant (“FCM”) or other counterparty to off-set the Fund’s exposure under the contract and, failing that, to assign its delivery obligation under the contract to the counterparty. The Fund reserves the right to modify its asset segregation policies in the future in its discretion, consistent with the Act and SEC or SEC staff guidance. By identifying assets equal to only its net obligations under certain instruments, the Fund will have the ability to employ leverage to a greater extent than if the Fund were required to identify assets equal to the full notional amount of the instrument.

 

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In November 2019, the SEC published a proposed rulemaking related to the use of derivatives and certain other transactions by registered investment companies that would, if adopted, for the most part rescind the guidance of the SEC and its staff regarding asset segregation and cover transactions. Instead of complying with current guidance, the Fund would need to trade derivatives and other transactions that create future payment or delivery obligations (except reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions) subject to a value-at-risk (“VaR”) leverage limit, certain other derivatives risk management program and testing requirements and requirements related to board and SEC reporting. These new requirements would apply unless the Fund qualified as a “limited derivatives user,” as defined in the SEC’s proposal. If the Fund trades reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions, it would need to aggregate the amount of indebtedness associated with the reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions with the aggregate amount of any other senior securities representing indebtedness when calculating the Fund’s asset coverage ratio. Reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions would not be included in the calculation of whether the Fund is a limited derivatives user. Any new requirements, if adopted, may increase the cost of the Fund’s investments and cost of doing business, which could adversely affect investors.

Bank Obligations

The Fund may invest in debt obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. or foreign banks. Bank obligations, including without limitation, time deposits, bankers’ acceptances and certificates of deposit, may be general obligations of the parent bank or may be limited to the issuing branch by the terms of the specific obligations or by government regulation. Banks are subject to extensive but different governmental regulations which may limit both the amount and types of loans which may be made and interest rates which may be charged. In addition, the profitability of the banking industry is largely dependent upon the availability and cost of funds for the purpose of financing lending operations under prevailing money market conditions. General economic conditions as well as exposure to credit losses arising from possible financial difficulties of borrowers play an important part in the operation of this industry.

Certificates of deposit are certificates evidencing the obligation of a bank to repay funds deposited with it for a specified period of time at a specified rate. Certificates of deposit are negotiable instruments and are similar to saving deposits but have a definite maturity and are evidenced by a certificate instead of a passbook entry. Banks are required to keep reserves against all certificates of deposit. Fixed time deposits are bank obligations payable at a stated maturity date and bearing interest at a fixed rate. Fixed time deposits may be withdrawn on demand by the investor, but may be subject to early withdrawal penalties which vary depending upon market conditions and the remaining maturity of the obligation. The Fund may invest in deposits in U.S. and European banks satisfying the standards set forth above.

Collateralized Loan Obligations and Other Collateralized Debt Obligations

The Fund may invest in collateralized debt obligations (“CDOs”), which include collateralized bond obligations (“CBOs”), collateralized loan obligations (“CLOs”), and other similarly structured investments. A CLO is an asset-backed security whose underlying collateral is a pool of loans, which may include, among others, domestic and foreign floating rate and fixed rate senior secured loans, senior unsecured loans, and subordinate corporate loans, including loans that may be rated below investment grade or equivalent unrated loans. In addition to the normal risks associated with loan- and credit-related securities discussed elsewhere in the Prospectus (e.g., loan-related investments risk, interest rate risk and default risk), investments in CLOs carry additional risks including, but not limited to, the risk that: (i) distributions from the collateral may not be adequate to make interest or other payments; (ii) the quality of the collateral may decline in value or default; (iii) the Fund may invest in tranches of CLOs that are subordinate to other tranches; (iv) the structure and complexity of the transaction and the legal documents could lead to disputes among investors regarding the characterization of proceeds; and (v) the CLO’s manager may perform poorly. CLOs may charge management and other administrative fees, which are in addition to those of the Fund.

CLOs issue classes or “tranches” that offer various maturity, risk and yield characteristics. Losses caused by defaults on underlying assets are borne first by the holders of subordinate tranches. Tranches are categorized as senior, mezzanine and subordinated/equity, according to their degree of risk. If there are defaults or the CLO’s collateral otherwise underperforms, scheduled payments to senior tranches take precedence over those of mezzanine tranches, and scheduled payments to mezzanine tranches take precedence over those of subordinated/equity tranches. The riskiest portion is the “equity” tranche which bears the bulk of defaults from the collateral and serves to protect the other, more senior tranches from default in all but the most severe circumstances. Because it is partially protected from defaults, a senior tranche from a CLO trust typically has higher ratings and lower yields than its underlying collateral and

 

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may be rated investment grade. Despite the protection from the equity and mezzanine tranches, more senior tranches of CLOs can experience losses due to actual defaults, increased sensitivity to defaults due to collateral default and disappearance of more subordinate tranches, market anticipation of defaults, as well as aversion to CLO securities as a class. The Fund’s investments in CLOs principally consist of senior tranches and, to a lesser extent, mezzanine tranches.

Typically, CLOs are privately offered and sold, and thus, are not registered under the securities laws. As a result, investments in CLOs may have limited independent pricing transparency. However, an active dealer market may exist for CLOs that qualify under the Rule 144A “safe harbor” from the registration requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, (the “1933 Act”) for resales of certain securities to qualified institutional buyers. These and other factors discussed in the section below, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in CLOs.

The Fund may also invest in collateralized debt obligations (“CDOs”), which are structured similarly to CLOs, but are backed by pools of assets that are debt securities (rather than being limited only to loans), typically including bonds, other structured finance securities (including other asset-backed securities and other CDOs) and/or synthetic instruments. Like CLOs, the risks of an investment in a CDO depend largely on the type and quality of the collateral securities and the tranche of the CDO in which the Fund invests. CDOs collateralized by pools of asset-backed securities carry the same risks as investments in asset-backed securities directly, including losses with respect to the collateral underlying those asset-backed securities. In addition, certain CDOs may not hold their underlying collateral directly, but rather, use derivatives such as swaps to create “synthetic” exposure to the collateral pool. Such CDOs entail the risks associated with derivative instruments.

Combined Transactions

The Fund may enter into multiple transactions, including multiple options transactions, multiple futures transactions, multiple currency transactions (as applicable) (including forward currency contracts) and multiple interest rate and other swap transactions and any combination of futures, options, currency and swap transactions (“component” transactions) as part of a single or combined strategy when, in the opinion of the Fund’s investment adviser, it is in the best interests of the Fund to do so. A combined transaction will usually contain elements of risk that are present in each of its component transactions. Although combined transactions are normally entered into based on the Investment Adviser’s judgment that the combined strategies will reduce risk or otherwise more effectively achieve the desired portfolio management goal, it is possible that the combination will instead increase such risks or hinder achievement of the portfolio management objective.

Commodity-Linked Investments

The Fund may seek to provide exposure to the investment returns of real assets that trade in the commodity markets through investments in commodity-linked derivative securities, such as structured notes, discussed below, which are designed to provide this exposure without direct investment in physical commodities or commodities futures contracts. Real assets are assets such as oil, gas, industrial and precious metals, livestock, and agricultural or meat products, or other items that have tangible properties, as compared to stocks or bonds, which are financial instruments. In choosing investments, the Investment Adviser seeks to provide exposure to various commodities and commodity sectors. The value of commodity-linked derivative securities held by the Fund may be affected by a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, overall market movements and other factors affecting the value of particular industries or commodities, such as weather, disease, embargoes, acts of war or terrorism, or political and regulatory developments.

The prices of commodity-linked derivative securities may move in different directions than investments in traditional equity and debt securities when the value of those traditional securities is declining due to adverse economic conditions. As an example, during periods of rising inflation, debt securities have historically tended to decline in value due to the general increase in prevailing interest rates. Conversely, during those same periods of rising inflation, the prices of certain commodities, such as oil and metals, have historically tended to increase. Of course, there cannot be any guarantee that these investments will perform in that manner in the future, and at certain times the price movements of commodity-linked instruments have been parallel to those of debt and equity securities. Commodities have historically tended to increase and decrease in value during different parts of the business cycle than financial assets. Nevertheless, at various times, commodities prices may move in tandem with the prices of financial assets and thus may not provide overall portfolio diversification benefits. Under favorable economic conditions, the Fund’s investments may be expected to underperform an investment in traditional securities. Over the long term, the returns on the Fund’s investments are expected to exhibit low or negative correlation with stocks and bonds.

Because commodity-linked investments are available from a relatively small number of issuers, the Fund’s investments will be particularly subject to counterparty risk, which is the risk that the issuer of the commodity-linked derivative (which issuer may also serve as counterparty to a substantial number of the Fund’s commodity-linked and other derivative instruments) will not fulfill its contractual obligations.

 

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Commodity-Linked Notes

The Fund may invest in commodity-linked notes. Commodity-linked notes are a type of structured note. Commodity-linked notes are privately negotiated structured debt securities indexed to the return of an index such as the Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Index Total Return, which is representative of the commodities market. They are available from a limited number of approved counterparties, and all invested amounts are exposed to the dealer’s credit risk. Commodity-linked notes may be leveraged. For example, if the Fund invests $100 in a three-times leveraged commodity-linked note, it will exchange $100 principal with the dealer to obtain $300 exposure to the commodities market because the value of the note will change by a magnitude of three for every percentage change (positive or negative) in the value of the underlying index. This means a $100 note would be worth $70 if the commodity index decreased by 10 percent. Structured notes also are subject to counterparty risk.

Convertible Securities

The Fund may invest in convertible securities. Convertible securities are bonds, debentures, notes, preferred stocks or other securities that may be converted into or exchanged for a specified amount of common stock (or other securities) of the same or different issuer within a particular period of time at a specified price or formula. A convertible security entitles the holder to receive interest that is generally paid or accrued on debt or a dividend that is paid or accrued on preferred stock until the convertible security matures or is redeemed, converted or exchanged. Convertible securities have unique investment characteristics, in that they generally (i) have higher yields than common stocks, but lower yields than comparable non-convertible securities, (ii) are less subject to fluctuation in value than the underlying common stock due to their fixed income characteristics and (iii) provide the potential for capital appreciation if the market price of the underlying common stock increases.

The value of a convertible security is a function of its “investment value” (determined by its yield in comparison with the yields of other securities of comparable maturity and quality that do not have a conversion privilege) and its “conversion value” (the security’s worth, at market value, if converted into the underlying common stock). The investment value of a convertible security is influenced by changes in interest rates, with investment value normally declining as interest rates increase and increasing as interest rates decline. The credit standing of the issuer and other factors may also have an effect on the convertible security’s investment value. The conversion value of a convertible security is determined by the market price of the underlying common stock. If the conversion value is low relative to the investment value, the price of the convertible security is governed principally by its investment value. To the extent the market price of the underlying common stock approaches or exceeds the conversion price, the price of the convertible security will be increasingly influenced by its conversion value. A convertible security generally will sell at a premium over its conversion value by the extent to which investors place value on the right to acquire the underlying common stock while holding a fixed income security.

A convertible security may be subject to redemption at the option of the issuer at a price established in the convertible security’s governing instrument. If a convertible security held by the Fund is called for redemption, the Fund will be required to convert the security into the underlying common stock, sell it to a third party or permit the issuer to redeem the security. Any of these actions could have an adverse effect on the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective, which, in turn, could result in losses to the Fund. To the extent that the Fund holds a convertible security, or a security that is otherwise converted or exchanged for common stock (e.g., as a result of a restructuring), the Fund may, consistent with its investment objective, hold such common stock in its portfolio.

In evaluating a convertible security, the Investment Adviser will give primary emphasis to the attractiveness of the underlying common stock. Convertible debt securities are equity investments for purposes of the Fund’s investment policies.

Corporate Debt Obligations

The Fund may, under normal market conditions, invest in corporate debt obligations, including obligations of industrial, utility and financial issuers. Corporate debt obligations include bonds, notes, debentures and other obligations of corporations to pay interest and repay principal. Corporate debt obligations are subject to the risk of an issuer’s inability to meet principal and interest payments on the obligations and may also be subject to price volatility due to such factors as market interest rates, market perception of the creditworthiness of the issuer and general market liquidity.

Corporate debt obligations rated BBB or Baa are considered medium grade obligations with speculative characteristics, and adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances may weaken their issuers’ capacity to pay interest and repay principal. Medium to lower rated and comparable non-rated securities tend to offer higher yields than higher rated securities with the same maturities because the historical financial condition of the issuers of such securities may not have been as strong as that of other issuers. The price of corporate

 

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debt obligations will generally fluctuate in response to fluctuations in supply and demand for similarly rated securities. In addition, the price of corporate debt obligations will generally fluctuate in response to interest rate levels. Fluctuations in the prices of portfolio securities subsequent to their acquisition will not affect cash income from such securities but will be reflected in the Fund’s net asset value (“NAV”).

Because medium to lower rated securities generally involve greater risks of loss of income and principal than higher rated securities, investors should consider carefully the relative risks associated with investment in securities which carry medium to lower ratings and in comparable unrated securities. In addition to the risk of default, there are the related costs of recovery on defaulted issues. The Investment Adviser will attempt to reduce these risks through portfolio diversification and by analysis of each issuer and its ability to make timely payments of income and principal, as well as broad economic trends and corporate developments.

The Investment Adviser employs its own credit research and analysis, which includes a study of an issuer’s existing debt, capital structure, ability to service debt and pay dividends, sensitivity to economic conditions, operating history and current earnings trend. The Investment Adviser continually monitors the investments in the Fund’s portfolio and evaluates whether to dispose of or to retain corporate debt obligations whose credit ratings or credit quality may have changed. If after its purchase, a portfolio security is assigned a lower rating or ceases to be rated, the Fund may continue to hold the security if the Investment Adviser believes it is in the best interest of the Fund and its shareholders.

Commercial Paper and Other Short-Term Corporate Obligations. The Fund may invest in commercial paper and other short-term obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. corporations, non-U.S. corporations or other entities. Commercial paper represents short-term unsecured promissory notes issued in bearer form by banks or bank holding companies, corporations and finance companies.

Currency-Linked Notes

The Fund may invest in currency-linked notes. Currency-linked notes are short- or intermediate-term debt securities whose value at maturity or interest payments are linked to the change in value of the U.S. dollar against the performance of a currency index or one or more foreign currencies. In some cases, these securities pay an amount at maturity based on a multiple of the amount of a currency’s change against the dollar. If they are sold prior to their maturity, their price may be higher or lower than their purchase price as a result of market conditions or changes in the credit quality of the issuer.

Custodial Receipts and Trust Certificates

The Fund may invest in custodial receipts and trust certificates, which may be underwritten by securities dealers or banks, representing interests in securities held by a custodian or trustee. The securities so held may include U.S. Government Securities (as defined below), municipal securities or other types of securities in which the Fund may invest. The custodial receipts or trust certificates are underwritten by securities dealers or banks and may evidence ownership of future interest payments, principal payments or both on the underlying securities, or, in some cases, the payment obligation of a third party that has entered into an interest rate swap or other arrangement with the custodian or trustee. For certain securities laws purposes, custodial receipts and trust certificates may not be considered obligations of the U.S. Government or other issuer of the securities held by the custodian or trustee. As a holder of custodial receipts and trust certificates, the Fund will bear its proportionate share of the fees and expenses charged to the custodial account or trust. The Fund may also invest in separately issued interests in custodial receipts and trust certificates.

Although under the terms of a custodial receipt or trust certificate the Fund would typically be authorized to assert its rights directly against the issuer of the underlying obligation, the Fund could be required to assert through the custodian bank or trustee those rights as may exist against the underlying issuers. Thus, in the event an underlying issuer fails to pay principal and/or interest when due, the Fund may be subject to delays, expenses and risks that are greater than those that would have been involved if the Fund had purchased a direct obligation of the issuer. In addition, in the event that the trust or custodial account in which the underlying securities have been deposited is determined to be an association taxable as a corporation, instead of a non-taxable entity, the yield on the underlying securities would be reduced in recognition of any taxes paid.

Certain custodial receipts and trust certificates may be synthetic or derivative instruments that have interest rates that reset inversely to changing short-term rates and/or have embedded interest rate floors and caps that require the issuer to pay an adjusted interest rate if market rates fall below or rise above a specified rate. Because some of these instruments represent relatively recent innovations, and the trading market for these instruments is less developed than the markets for traditional types of instruments, it is uncertain how these instruments will perform under different economic and interest-rate scenarios. Also, because these instruments may be leveraged, their market values may be more volatile than other types of fixed income instruments and may present greater potential for capital gain or loss. The possibility of default by an issuer or the issuer’s credit provider may be greater for these derivative instruments than for other

 

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types of instruments. In some cases, it may be difficult to determine the fair value of a derivative instrument because of a lack of reliable objective information and an established secondary market for some instruments may not exist. In many cases, the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) has not ruled on the tax treatment of the interest or payments received on the derivative instruments and, accordingly, purchases of such instruments are based on the opinion of counsel to the sponsors of the instruments.

Deferred Interest, Pay-in-Kind and Capital Appreciation Bonds

The Fund may invest in deferred interest and capital appreciation bonds and pay-in-kind (“PIK”) securities. Deferred interest and capital appreciation bonds are debt securities issued or sold at a discount from their face value and which do not entitle the holder to any periodic payment of interest prior to maturity or a specified date. The original issue discount varies depending on the time remaining until maturity or cash payment date, prevailing interest rates, the liquidity of the security and the perceived credit quality of the issuer. These securities also may take the form of debt securities that have been stripped of their unmatured interest coupons, the coupons themselves or receipts or certificates representing interests in such stripped debt obligations or coupons.

PIK securities may be debt obligations or preferred shares that provide the issuer with the option of paying interest or dividends on such obligations in cash or in the form of additional securities rather than cash. Similar to zero coupon bonds and deferred interest bonds, PIK securities are designed to give an issuer flexibility in managing cash flow. PIK securities that are debt securities can either be senior or subordinated debt and generally trade flat (i.e., without accrued interest). The trading price of PIK debt securities generally reflects the market value of the underlying debt plus an amount representing accrued interest since the last interest payment.

The market prices of deferred interest, capital appreciation bonds and PIK securities generally are more volatile than the market prices of interest bearing securities and are likely to respond to a greater degree to changes in interest rates than interest bearing securities having similar maturities and credit quality. Moreover, deferred interest, capital appreciation and PIK securities involve the additional risk that, unlike securities that periodically pay interest to maturity, the Fund will realize no cash until a specified future payment date unless a portion of such securities is sold and, if the issuer of such securities defaults, the Fund may obtain no return at all on its investment. The valuation of such investments requires judgment regarding the collection of future payments. In addition, even though such securities do not provide for the payment of current interest in cash, the Fund is nonetheless required to accrue income on such investments for each taxable year and generally are required to distribute such accrued amounts (net of deductible expenses, if any) to avoid being subject to tax. Because no cash is generally received at the time of the accrual, the Fund may be required to liquidate other portfolio securities to obtain sufficient cash to satisfy federal tax distribution requirements applicable to the Fund. A portion of the discount with respect to stripped tax-exempt securities or their coupons may be taxable.

Dividend-Paying Investments

The Fund’s investments in dividend-paying securities could cause the Fund to underperform other funds that invest in similar asset classes but employ a different investment style. Securities that pay dividends, as a group, can fall out of favor with the market, causing such securities to underperform securities that do not pay dividends. Depending upon market conditions and political and legislative responses to such conditions, dividend-paying securities that meet the Fund’s investment criteria may not be widely available and/or may be highly concentrated in only a few market sectors. For example, in response to the outbreak of a novel strain of coronavirus (known as COVID-19), the U.S. Government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act in March 2020, which established loan programs for certain issuers impacted by COVID-19. Among other conditions, borrowers under these loan programs are generally restricted from paying dividends. The adoption of new legislation could further limit or restrict the ability of issuers to pay dividends. To the extent that dividend-paying securities are concentrated in only a few market sectors, the Fund may be subject to the risks of volatile economic cycles and/or conditions or developments that may be particular to a sector to a greater extent than if its investments were diversified across different sectors. In addition, issuers that have paid regular dividends or distributions to shareholders may not continue to do so at the same level or at all in the future. A sharp rise in interest rates or an economic downturn could cause an issuer to abruptly reduce or eliminate its dividend. This may limit the ability of the Fund to produce current income.

Equity-Linked Structured Notes

The Fund may invest in equity-linked structured notes. Equity-linked structured notes are derivatives that are specifically designed to combine the characteristics of one or more underlying securities and their equity derivatives in a single note form. The return and/or yield or income component may be based on the performance of the underlying equity securities, an equity index, and/or option positions. Equity-linked structured notes are typically offered in limited transactions by financial institutions in either registered or non- registered form. An investment in equity-linked notes creates exposure to the credit risk of the issuing financial institution, as well as to the market risk of the underlying securities. There is no guaranteed return of principal with these securities and the appreciation potential of these securities may be limited by a maximum payment or call right. In certain cases, equity-linked notes may be more volatile and less liquid than less complex securities or other types of fixed-income securities. Such securities may exhibit price behavior that does not correlate with other fixed-income securities.

 

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Events Relating to the Mortgage- and Asset-Backed Securities Markets and the Overall Economy

The unprecedented disruption in the residential mortgage-backed securities market (and in particular, the “subprime” residential mortgage market), the broader mortgage-backed securities market and the asset-backed securities market in 2008-2009 resulted in downward price pressures and increasing foreclosures and defaults in residential and commercial real estate. Concerns over inflation, energy costs, geopolitical issues, the availability and cost of credit, the mortgage market and a depressed real estate market contributed to increased volatility and diminished expectations for the economy and markets going forward, and contributed to dramatic declines in the housing market, with falling home prices and increasing foreclosures and unemployment, and significant asset write-downs by financial institutions. These conditions prompted a number of financial institutions to seek additional capital, to merge with other institutions and, in some cases, to fail or seek bankruptcy protection. Between 2008-2009, the market for Mortgage-Backed Securities (as well as other asset-backed securities) was particularly adversely impacted by, among other factors, the failure and subsequent sale of Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. to J.P. Morgan Chase, the merger of Bank of America Corporation and Merrill Lynch & Co., the insolvency of Washington Mutual Inc., the failure and subsequent bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc., the extension of approximately $152 billion in emergency credit by the U.S. Department of Treasury (“U.S. Treasury”) to American International Group Inc., and, as described above, the conservatorship and the control by the U.S. Government of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The global markets also saw an increase in volatility due to uncertainty surrounding the level and sustainability of sovereign debt of certain countries that are part of the European Union (“EU”), including Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Italy, as well as the sustainability of the EU itself. Concerns over the level and sustainability of the sovereign debt of the United States have aggravated this volatility. No assurance can be made that this uncertainty will not lead to further disruption of the credit markets in the United States or around the globe. These events, coupled with the general global economic downturn, have resulted in a substantial level of uncertainty in the financial markets, particularly with respect to mortgage-related investments.

These events may lead to further declines in income from, or the value of, real estate, including the real estate which secures the Mortgage-Backed Securities which may be held by the Fund. Additionally, a lack of credit liquidity, adjustments of mortgages to higher rates and decreases in the value of real property have occurred and may reoccur, and potentially prevent borrowers from refinancing their mortgages, which may increase the likelihood of default on their mortgage loans. These economic conditions, coupled with high levels of real estate inventory and elevated incidence of underwater mortgages, may also adversely affect the amount of proceeds the holder of a mortgage loan or mortgage-backed securities (including the Mortgage-Backed Securities in which the Fund may invest) would realize in the event of a foreclosure or other exercise of remedies. Moreover, even if such Mortgage-Backed Securities are performing as anticipated, the value of such securities in the secondary market may nevertheless fall or continue to fall as a result of deterioration in general market conditions for such Mortgage-Backed Securities or other asset-backed or structured products. Trading activity associated with market indices may also drive spreads on those indices wider than spreads on Mortgage-Backed Securities, thereby resulting in a decrease in value of such Mortgage-Backed Securities, including the Mortgage-Backed Securities which may be owned by the Fund.

The U.S. Government, the Federal Reserve, the U.S. Treasury, the SEC, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”) and other governmental and regulatory bodies have taken or are considering taking actions to address the financial crisis. These actions include, but are not limited to, the enactment by the U.S. Congress of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”), which was signed into law on July 21, 2010 and imposes a new regulatory framework over the U.S. financial services industry and the consumer credit markets in general, and the promulgation of additional regulations in this area which could affect these securities. Given the broad scope, sweeping nature, and relatively recent enactment of some of these regulatory measures, the potential impact they could have on any of the asset-backed or Mortgage-Backed Securities which may be held by the Fund is unknown. There can be no assurance that these measures will not have an adverse effect on the value or marketability of any asset- backed or Mortgage-Backed Securities which may be held by the Fund. Furthermore, no assurance can be made that the U.S. Government or any U.S. regulatory body (or other authority or regulatory body) will not continue to take further legislative or regulatory action in response to the economic crisis or otherwise, and the effect of such actions, if taken, cannot be known.

Among its other provisions, the Dodd-Frank Act creates a liquidation framework under which the FDIC, may be appointed as receiver following a “systemic risk determination” by the Secretary of Treasury (in consultation with the President) for the resolution of certain nonbank financial companies and other entities, defined as “covered financial companies,” and commonly referred to as “systemically important entities,” in the event such a company is in default or in danger of default and the resolution of such a company under other applicable law would have serious adverse effects on financial stability in the United States, and also for the resolution of

 

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certain of their subsidiaries. No assurances can be given that this new liquidation framework would not apply to the originators of asset- backed securities, including Mortgage-Backed Securities, or their respective subsidiaries, including the issuers and depositors of such securities, although the expectation embedded in the Dodd-Frank Act is that the framework will be invoked only very rarely. Guidance from the FDIC indicates that such new framework will largely be exercised in a manner consistent with the existing bankruptcy laws, which is the insolvency regime that would otherwise apply to the sponsors, depositors and issuing entities with respect to asset-backed securities, including Mortgage-Backed Securities. The application of such liquidation framework to such entities could result in decreases or delays in amounts paid on, and hence the market value of, the Mortgage-Backed or asset-backed securities that may be owned by the Fund.

Delinquencies, defaults and losses on residential mortgage loans may increase substantially over certain periods, which may affect the performance of the Mortgage-Backed Securities in which the Fund may invest. Mortgage loans backing non-agency Mortgage- Backed Securities are more sensitive to economic factors that could affect the ability of borrowers to pay their obligations under the mortgage loans backing these securities. In addition, housing prices and appraisal values in many states and localities over certain periods have declined or stopped appreciating. A continued decline or an extended flattening of those values may result in additional increases in delinquencies and losses on Mortgage-Backed Securities generally (including the Mortgage-Backed Securities that the Fund may invest in as described above).

The foregoing adverse changes in market conditions and regulatory climate may reduce the cash flow which the Fund, to the extent it invests in Mortgage-Backed Securities or other asset-backed securities, receives from such securities and increase the incidence and severity of credit events and losses in respect of such securities. In addition, interest rate spreads for Mortgage-Backed Securities and other asset-backed securities are subject to widening and increased volatility due to these adverse changes in market conditions. In the event that interest rate spreads for Mortgage-Backed Securities and other asset-backed securities widen following the purchase of such assets by the Fund, the market value of such securities is likely to decline and, in the case of a substantial spread widening, could decline by a substantial amount. Furthermore, adverse changes in market conditions may result in reduced liquidity in the market for Mortgage- Backed Securities and other asset-backed securities (including the Mortgage-Backed Securities and other asset-backed securities in which the Fund may invest) and increased unwillingness by banks, financial institutions and investors to extend credit to servicers, originators and other participants in the market for Mortgage-Backed and other asset-backed securities. As a result, the liquidity and/or the market value of any Mortgage-Backed or asset-backed securities that are owned by the Fund may experience further declines after they are purchased by the Fund.

Floating Rate Loans and Other Floating Rate Debt Securities

Floating rate loans consist generally of obligations of companies or other entities (e.g., a U.S. or foreign bank, insurance company or finance company) (collectively, “borrowers”) incurred for a variety of purposes. Floating rate loans may be acquired by direct investment as a lender, as a participation interest (which represents a fractional interest in a floating rate loan) issued by a lender or other financial institution, or as an assignment of the portion of a floating rate loan previously attributable to a different lender.

Floating rate loans may be obligations of borrowers who are highly leveraged. Floating rate loans may be structured to include both term loans, which are generally fully funded at the time of the making of the loan, and revolving credit facilities, which would require additional investments upon the borrower’s demand. A revolving credit facility may require a purchaser to increase its investment in a floating rate loan at a time when it would not otherwise have done so, even if the borrower’s condition makes it unlikely that the amount will ever be repaid.

A floating rate loan offered as part of the original lending syndicate typically is purchased at par value. As part of the original lending syndicate, a purchaser generally earns a yield equal to the stated interest rate. In addition, members of the original syndicate typically are paid a commitment fee. In secondary market trading, floating rate loans may be purchased or sold above, at, or below par, which can result in a yield that is below, equal to, or above the stated interest rate, respectively. At certain times when reduced opportunities exist for investing in new syndicated floating rate loans, floating rate loans may be available only through the secondary market. There can be no assurance that an adequate supply of floating rate loans will be available for purchase.

Historically, floating rate loans have not been registered with the SEC or any state securities commission or listed on any securities exchange. As a result, the amount of public information available about a specific floating rate loan historically has been less extensive than if the floating rate loan were registered or exchange-traded. As a result, no active market may exist for some floating rate loans.

 

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Purchasers of floating rate loans and other forms of debt obligations depend primarily upon the creditworthiness of the borrower for payment of interest and repayment of principal. If scheduled interest or principal payments are not made, the value of the obligation may be adversely affected. Floating rate loans and other debt obligations that are fully secured provide more protections than unsecured obligations in the event of failure to make scheduled interest or principal payments. Indebtedness of borrowers whose creditworthiness is poor involves substantially greater risks and may be highly speculative. Borrowers that are in bankruptcy or restructuring may never pay off their indebtedness, or may pay only a small fraction of the amount owed. Some floating rate loans and other debt obligations are not rated by any nationally recognized statistical rating organization (“NRSRO”). In connection with the restructuring of a floating rate loan or other debt obligation outside of bankruptcy court in a negotiated work-out or in the context of bankruptcy proceedings, equity securities or junior debt obligations may be received in exchange for all or a portion of an interest in the obligation.

From time to time, Goldman Sachs and its affiliates may borrow money from various banks in connection with their business activities. These banks also may sell floating rate loans to the Fund or acquire floating rate loans from the Fund, or may be intermediate participants with respect to floating rate loans owned by the Fund. These banks also may act as agents for floating rate loans that the Fund owns.

Agents. Floating rate loans typically are originated, negotiated, and structured by a bank, insurance company, finance company, or other financial institution (the “agent”) for a lending syndicate of financial institutions. The borrower and the lender or lending syndicate enter into a loan agreement. In addition, an institution (typically, but not always, the agent) holds any collateral on behalf of the lenders.

In a typical floating rate loan, the agent administers the terms of the loan agreement and is responsible for the collection of principal and interest and fee payments from the borrower and the apportionment of these payments to all lenders that are parties to the loan agreement. Purchasers will rely on the agent to use appropriate creditor remedies against the borrower. Typically, under loan agreements, the agent is given broad discretion in monitoring the borrower’s performance and is obligated to use the same care it would use in the management of its own property. Upon an event of default, the agent typically will enforce the loan agreement after instruction from the lenders. The borrower compensates the agent for these services. This compensation may include special fees paid on structuring and funding the floating rate loan and other fees paid on a continuing basis. The typical practice of an agent or a lender in relying exclusively or primarily on reports from the borrower may involve a risk of fraud by the borrower.

If an agent becomes insolvent, or has a receiver, conservator, or similar official appointed for it by the appropriate bank or other regulatory authority, or becomes a debtor in a bankruptcy proceeding, the agent’s appointment may be terminated, and a successor agent would be appointed. If an appropriate regulator or court determines that assets held by the agent for the benefit of the purchasers of floating rate loans are subject to the claims of the agent’s general or secured creditors, the purchasers might incur certain costs and delays in realizing payment on a floating rate loan or suffer a loss of principal and/or interest. Furthermore, in the event of the borrower’s bankruptcy or insolvency, the borrower’s obligation to repay a floating rate loan may be subject to certain defenses that the borrower can assert as a result of improper conduct by the agent.

Assignments. The Fund may purchase an assignment of a portion of a floating rate loan from an agent or from another group of investors. The purchase of an assignment typically succeeds to all the rights and obligations under the original loan agreement; however, assignments may also be arranged through private negotiations between potential assignees and potential assignors, and the rights and obligations acquired by the purchaser of an assignment may differ from, and be more limited than, those held by the assigning agent or investor.

Loan Participation Interests. Purchasers of participation interests do not have any direct contractual relationship with the borrower. Purchasers rely on the lender who sold the participation interest not only for the enforcement of the purchaser’s rights against the borrower but also for the receipt and processing of payments due under the floating rate loan. For additional information, see the section “Loan Participations” below.

Liquidity. Floating rate loans may be transferable among financial institutions, but may not have the liquidity of conventional debt securities and are often subject to legal or contractual restrictions on resale. Floating rate loans are not currently listed on any securities exchange or automatic quotation system. As a result, no active market may exist for some floating rate loans. To the extent a secondary market exists for other floating rate loans, such market may be subject to irregular trading activity, wide bid/ask spreads, and extended trade settlement periods. The lack of a highly liquid secondary market for floating rate loans may have an adverse effect on the value of such loans and may make it more difficult to value the loans for purposes of calculating their respective NAV. These and other factors discussed in the section below, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in floating rate loans and other variable and floating rate securities.

 

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Collateral. Most floating rate loans are secured by specific collateral of the borrower and are senior to most other securities or obligations of the borrower. The collateral typically has a market value, at the time the floating rate loan is made, that equals or exceeds the principal amount of the floating rate loan. The value of the collateral may decline, be insufficient to meet the obligations of the borrower, or be difficult to liquidate. As a result, a floating rate loan may not be fully collateralized and can decline significantly in value.

Floating rate loan collateral may consist of various types of assets or interests, including working capital assets, such as accounts receivable or inventory; tangible or intangible assets; or assets or other types of guarantees of affiliates of the borrower.

Generally, floating rate loans are secured unless (i) the purchaser’s security interest in the collateral is invalidated for any reason by a court, or (ii) the collateral is fully released with the consent of the agent bank and lenders or under the terms of a loan agreement as the creditworthiness of the borrower improves. Collateral impairment is the risk that the value of the collateral for a floating rate loan will be insufficient in the event that a borrower defaults. Although the terms of a floating rate loan generally require that the collateral at issuance have a value at least equal to 100% of the amount of such floating rate loan, the value of the collateral may decline subsequent to the purchase of a floating rate loan. In most loan agreements there is no formal requirement to pledge additional collateral. There is no guarantee that the sale of collateral would allow a borrower to meet its obligations should the borrower be unable to repay principal or pay interest or that the collateral could be sold quickly or easily.

In addition, most borrowers pay their debts from the cash flow they generate. If the borrower’s cash flow is insufficient to pay its debts as they come due, the borrower may seek to restructure its debts rather than sell collateral. Borrowers may try to restructure their debts by filing for protection under the federal bankruptcy laws or negotiating a work-out. If a borrower becomes involved in bankruptcy proceedings, access to the collateral may be limited by bankruptcy and other laws. In the event that a court decides that access to the collateral is limited or void, it is unlikely that purchasers could recover the full amount of the principal and interest due.

There may be temporary periods when the principal asset held by a borrower is the stock of a related company, which may not legally be pledged to secure a floating rate loan. On occasions when such stock cannot be pledged, the floating rate loan will be temporarily unsecured until the stock can be pledged or is exchanged for, or replaced by, other assets.

Some floating rate loans are unsecured. The claims of holders under unsecured loans are subordinated to claims of creditors holding secured indebtedness and possibly also to claims of other creditors holding unsecured debt. Unsecured loans have a greater risk of default than secured loans, particularly during periods of deteriorating economic conditions. If the borrower defaults on an unsecured floating rate loan, there is no specific collateral on which the purchaser can foreclose.

Floating Interest Rates. The rate of interest payable on floating rate loans and other floating or variable rate obligations is the sum of a base lending rate plus a specified spread. Base lending rates are generally the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”), the Prime Rate of a designated U.S. bank, the Federal Funds Rate, or another base lending rate used by commercial lenders.

A borrower usually has the right to select the base lending rate and to change the base lending rate at specified intervals. The applicable spread may be fixed at time of issuance or may adjust upward or downward to reflect changes in credit quality of the borrower.

The interest rate on LIBOR-based floating rate loans/obligations is reset periodically at intervals ranging from 30 to 180 days, while the interest rate on Prime Rate- or Federal Funds Rate-based floating rate loans/obligations floats daily as those rates change. Investment in floating rate loans/obligations with longer interest rate reset periods can increase fluctuations in the floating rate loans’ values when interest rates change.

The yield on a floating rate loan/obligation will primarily depend on the terms of the underlying floating rate loan/obligation and the base lending rate chosen by the borrower. The relationship between LIBOR, the Prime Rate, and the Federal Funds Rate will vary as market conditions change.

Maturity. Floating rate loans typically will have a stated term of five to nine years. However, because floating rate loans are frequently prepaid, their average maturity is expected to be two to three years. The degree to which borrowers prepay floating rate loans, whether as a contractual requirement or at their election, may be affected by general business conditions, the borrower’s financial condition, and competitive conditions among lenders. Prepayments cannot be predicted with accuracy. Prepayments of principal to the purchaser of a floating rate loan may result in the principal’s being reinvested in floating rate loans with lower yields.

 

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Supply of Floating Rate Loans. The legislation of state or federal regulators that regulate certain financial institutions may impose additional requirements or restrictions on the ability of such institutions to make loans, particularly with respect to highly leveraged transactions. The supply of floating rate loans may be limited from time to time due to a lack of sellers in the market for existing floating rate loans or the number of new floating rate loans currently being issued. As a result, the floating rate loans available for purchase may be lower quality or higher priced.

Restrictive Covenants. A borrower must comply with various restrictive covenants contained in the loan agreement. In addition to requiring the scheduled payment of interest and principal, these covenants may include restrictions on dividend payments and other distributions to stockholders, provisions requiring the borrower to maintain specific financial ratios, and limits on total debt. The loan agreement may also contain a covenant requiring the borrower to prepay the floating rate loan with any free cash flow. A breach of a covenant that is not waived by the agent (or by the lenders directly) is normally an event of default, which provides the agent or the lenders the right to call the outstanding floating rate loan.

Fees. Purchasers of floating rate loans may receive and/or pay certain fees. These fees are in addition to interest payments received and may include facility fees, commitment fees, commissions, and prepayment penalty fees. When a purchaser buys a floating rate loan, it may receive a facility fee; and when it sells a floating rate loan, it may pay a facility fee. A purchaser may receive a commitment fee based on the undrawn portion of the underlying line of credit portion of a floating rate loan or a prepayment penalty fee on the prepayment of a floating rate loan. A purchaser may also receive other fees, including covenant waiver fees and covenant modification fees.

Other Types of Floating Rate Debt Obligations. Floating rate debt obligations include other forms of indebtedness of borrowers such as notes and bonds, obligations with fixed rate interest payments in conjunction with a right to receive floating rate interest payments, and shares of other investment companies. These instruments are generally subject to the same risks as floating rate loans but are often more widely issued and traded.

Inverse Floating Rate Debt Obligations. The Fund may invest in “leveraged” inverse floating rate debt instruments (“inverse floaters”), including “leveraged inverse floaters.” The interest rate on inverse floaters resets in the opposite direction from the market rate of interest to which the inverse floater is indexed. An inverse floater may be considered to be leveraged to the extent that its interest rate varies by a magnitude that exceeds the magnitude of the change in the index rate of interest. The higher the degree of leverage inherent in inverse floaters is associated with greater volatility in their market values. Accordingly, the duration of an inverse floater may exceed its stated final maturity.

Foreign Securities

The Fund may invest in securities of foreign issuers, including securities quoted or denominated in a currency other than U.S. dollars. Investments in foreign securities may offer potential benefits not available from investments solely in U.S. dollar-denominated or quoted securities of domestic issuers. Such benefits may include the opportunity to invest in foreign issuers that appear, in the opinion of the Investment Adviser, to offer the potential for better long term growth of capital and income than investments in U.S. securities, the opportunity to invest in foreign countries with economic policies or business cycles different from those of the United States and the opportunity to reduce fluctuations in portfolio value by taking advantage of foreign securities markets that do not necessarily move in a manner parallel to U.S. markets. Investing in the securities of foreign issuers also involves, however, certain special risks, including those discussed in the Fund’s Prospectuses and those set forth below, which are not typically associated with investing in U.S. dollar- denominated securities or quoted securities of U.S. issuers. Many of these risks are more pronounced for investments in emerging economies.

With respect to investments in certain foreign countries, there exist certain economic, political and social risks, including the risk of adverse political developments, nationalization, military unrest, social instability, war and terrorism, confiscation without fair compensation, expropriation or confiscatory taxation, limitations on the movement of funds and other assets between different countries, or diplomatic developments, any of which could adversely affect the Fund’s investments in those countries. Governments in certain foreign countries continue to participate to a significant degree, through ownership interest or regulation, in their respective economies. Action by these governments could have a significant effect on market prices of securities and dividend payments.

From time to time, certain of the companies in which the Fund may invest may operate in, or have dealings with, countries subject to sanctions or embargos imposed by the U.S. Government and the United Nations and/or countries identified by the U.S. Government as state sponsors of terrorism. For example, the United Nations Security Council has imposed certain sanctions relating to Iran and Sudan and both countries are embargoed countries by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury.

 

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In addition, from time to time, certain of the companies in which the Fund may invest may engage in, or have dealings with countries or companies that engage in, activities that may not be considered socially and/or environmentally responsible. Such activities may relate to human rights issues (such as patterns of human rights abuses or violations, persecution or discrimination), impacts to local communities in which companies operate and environmental sustainability. For a description of the Investment Adviser’s approach to responsible and sustainable investing, please see GSAM’s Statement on Responsible and Sustainable Investing at https://www.gsam.com/content/dam/gsam/pdfs/common/en/public/miscellaneous/GSAM_statement_on_respon_sustainable_investing.pdf .

As a result, a company may suffer damage to its reputation if it is identified as a company which engages in, or has dealings with countries or companies that engage in, the above referenced activities. As an investor in such companies, the Fund would be indirectly subject to those risks.

The Investment Adviser is committed to complying fully with sanctions in effect as of the date of this SAI and any other applicable sanctions that may be enacted in the future with respect to Sudan or any other country.

Many countries throughout the world are dependent on a healthy U.S. economy and are adversely affected when the U.S. economy weakens or its markets decline. Additionally, many foreign country economies are heavily dependent on international trade and are adversely affected by protective trade barriers and economic conditions of their trading partners. Protectionist trade legislation enacted by those trading partners could have a significant adverse effect on the securities markets of those countries. Individual foreign economies may differ favorably or unfavorably from the U.S. economy in such respects as growth of gross national product, rate of inflation, capital reinvestment, resource self-sufficiency and balance of payments position.

Investments in foreign securities often involve currencies of foreign countries. Accordingly, the Fund may be affected favorably or unfavorably by changes in currency rates and in exchange control regulations and may incur costs in connection with conversions between various currencies. The Fund may be subject to currency exposure independent of its securities positions. To the extent that the Fund is fully invested in foreign securities while also maintaining net currency positions, it may be exposed to greater combined risk. Currency exchange rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time. They generally are determined by the forces of supply and demand in the foreign exchange markets and the relative merits of investments in different countries, actual or anticipated changes in interest rates and other complex factors, as seen from an international perspective. Currency exchange rates also can be affected unpredictably by intervention (or the failure to intervene) by U.S. or foreign governments or central banks or by currency controls or political developments in the United States or abroad.

Because foreign issuers generally are not subject to uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, practices and requirements comparable to those applicable to U.S. companies, there may be less publicly available information about a foreign company than about a U.S. company. Volume and liquidity in most foreign securities markets are less than in the United States and securities of many foreign companies are less liquid and more volatile than securities of comparable U.S. companies. The securities of foreign issuers may be listed on foreign securities exchanges or traded in foreign over-the-counter markets. Fixed commissions on foreign securities exchanges are generally higher than negotiated commissions on U.S. exchanges, although the Fund endeavors to achieve the most favorable net results on its portfolio transactions. There is generally less government supervision and regulation of foreign securities exchanges, brokers, dealers and listed and unlisted companies than in the United States, and the legal remedies for investors may be more limited than the remedies available in the United States. For example, there may be no comparable provisions under certain foreign laws to insider trading and similar investor protections that apply with respect to securities transactions consummated in the United States. Mail service between the United States and foreign countries may be slower or less reliable than within the United States, thus increasing the risk of delayed settlement of portfolio transactions or loss of certificates for portfolio securities.

Foreign markets also have different clearance and settlement procedures, and in certain markets there have been times when settlements have been unable to keep pace with the volume of securities transactions, making it difficult to conduct such transactions. Such delays in settlement could result in temporary periods when some of the Fund’s assets are uninvested and no return is earned on such assets. The inability of the Fund to make intended security purchases due to settlement problems could cause the Fund to miss attractive investment opportunities. Inability to dispose of portfolio securities due to settlement problems could result either in losses to the Fund due to subsequent declines in value of the portfolio securities or, if the Fund has entered into a contract to sell the securities, in possible liability to the purchaser.

These and other factors discussed in the section below, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in securities of foreign issuers.

 

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Custodial and/or settlement systems in emerging markets countries may not be fully developed. To the extent the Fund invests in emerging markets, the Fund’s assets that are traded in such markets and which have been entrusted to such sub-custodians in those markets may be exposed to risks for which the sub-custodian will have no liability.

The Fund may invest in foreign securities which take the form of sponsored and unsponsored American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”), Global Depositary Receipts (“GDRs”), European Depositary Receipts (“EDRs”) or other similar instruments representing securities of foreign issuers (together, “Depositary Receipts”). ADRs represent the right to receive securities of foreign issuers deposited in a domestic bank or a correspondent bank. ADRs are traded on domestic exchanges or in the U.S. over-the-counter market and, generally, are in registered form. To the extent the Fund acquires Depositary Receipts through banks which do not have a contractual relationship with the foreign issuer of the security underlying the Depositary Receipts to issue and service such unsponsored Depositary Receipts, there is an increased possibility that the Fund will not become aware of and be able to respond to corporate actions such as stock splits or rights offerings involving the foreign issuer in a timely manner. In addition, the lack of information may result in inefficiencies in the valuation of such instruments. Investment in Depositary Receipts does not eliminate all the risks inherent in investing in securities of non-U.S. issuers. The market value of Depositary Receipts is dependent upon the market value of the underlying securities and fluctuations in the relative value of the currencies in which the Depositary Receipts and the underlying securities are quoted. However, by investing in Depositary Receipts, such as ADRs, which are quoted in U.S. dollars, the Fund may avoid currency risks during the settlement period for purchases and sales.

As described more fully below, the Fund may invest in countries with emerging economies or securities markets. Political and economic structures in many of such countries may be undergoing significant evolution and rapid development, and such countries may lack the social, political and economic stability characteristic of more developed countries. Certain of such countries have in the past failed to recognize private property rights and have at times nationalized or expropriated the assets of, or ignored internationally accepted standards of due process against, private companies. In addition, a country may take these and other retaliatory actions against a specific private company, including the Fund or the Investment Adviser. There may not be legal recourse against these actions, which could arise in connection with the commercial activities of Goldman Sachs or its affiliates or otherwise, and the Fund could be subject to substantial losses. In addition, the Fund or the Investment Adviser may determine not to invest in, or may limit its overall investment in, a particular issuer, country or geographic region due to, among other things, heightened risks regarding repatriation restrictions, confiscation of assets and property, expropriation or nationalization.

Investing in Asia. Although many countries in Asia have experienced a relatively stable political environment over the last decade, there is no guarantee that such stability will be maintained in the future. As an emerging region, many factors may affect such stability on a country-by-country as well as on a regional basis – increasing gaps between the rich and poor, agrarian unrest, instability of existing coalitions in politically-fractionated countries, hostile relations with neighboring countries, and ethnic, religious and racial disaffection – and may result in adverse consequences to the Fund. The political history of some Asian countries has been characterized by political uncertainty, intervention by the military in civilian and economic spheres, and political corruption. Such developments, if they continue to occur, could reverse favorable trends toward market and economic reform, privatization, and removal of trade barriers, and could result in significant disruption to securities markets.

The legal infrastructure in each of the countries in Asia is unique and often undeveloped. In most cases, securities laws are evolving and far from adequate for the protection of the public from serious fraud. Investment in Asian securities involves considerations and possible risks not typically involved with investment in other issuers, including changes in governmental administration or economic or monetary policy or changed circumstances in dealings between nations. The application of tax laws (e.g., the imposition of withholding taxes on dividend or interest payments) or confiscatory taxation may also affect investment in Asian securities. Higher expenses may result from investments in Asian securities than would from investments in other securities because of the costs that must be incurred in connection with conversions between various currencies and brokerage commissions that may be higher than more established markets. Asian securities markets also may be less liquid, more volatile and less subject to governmental supervision than elsewhere. Investments in countries in the region could be affected by other factors not present elsewhere, including lack of uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, inadequate settlement procedures and potential difficulties in enforcing contractual obligations.

Some Asian economies have limited natural resources, resulting in dependence on foreign sources for energy and raw materials and economic vulnerability to global fluctuations of price and supply. Certain countries in Asia are especially prone to natural disasters, such as flooding, drought and earthquakes. Combined with the possibility of man-made disasters, the occurrence of such disasters may adversely affect companies in which the Fund is invested and, as a result, may result in adverse consequences to the Fund. Many of the countries in Asia periodically have experienced significant inflation. Should the governments and central banks of the countries in Asia fail to control inflation, this may have an adverse effect on the performance of the Fund’s investments in Asian securities. Several of the

 

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countries in Asia remain dependent on the U.S. economy as their largest export customer, and future barriers to entry into the U.S. market or other important markets could adversely affect the Fund’s performance. Intraregional trade is becoming an increasingly significant percentage of total trade for the countries in Asia. Consequently, the intertwined economies are becoming increasingly dependent on each other, and any barriers to entry to markets in Asia in the future may adversely affect the Fund’s performance.

Certain Asian countries may have managed currencies which are maintained at artificial levels to the U.S. dollar rather than at levels determined by the market. This type of system can lead to sudden and large adjustments in the currency which, in turn, can have a disruptive and negative effect on foreign investors. Certain Asian countries also may restrict the free conversion of their currency into foreign currencies, including the U.S. dollar. There is no significant foreign exchange market for certain currencies, and it would, as a result, be difficult to engage in foreign currency transactions designed to protect the value of an underlying fund’s interests in securities denominated in such currencies.

Although the Fund will generally attempt to invest in those markets which provide the greatest freedom of movement of foreign capital, there is no assurance that this will be possible or that certain countries in Asia will not restrict the movement of foreign capital in the future. Changes in securities laws and foreign ownership laws may have an adverse effect on the Fund.

Investing in Australia. The Australian economy is heavily dependent on the economies of Asia, Europe and the U.S. as key trading partners, and in particular, on the price and demand for agricultural products and natural resources. By total market capitalization, the Australian stock market is small relative to the U.S. stock market and issues may trade with lesser liquidity. Australian reporting, accounting and auditing standards differ substantially from U.S. standards. In general, Australian corporations do not provide all of the disclosure required by U.S. law and accounting practice, and such disclosure may be less timely and less frequent than that required of U.S. companies.

Investing in Central and South American Countries. A significant portion of the Fund’s portfolio may be invested in securities of issuers located in Central and South American countries. The economies of Central and South American countries have experienced considerable difficulties in the past decade, including high inflation rates, high interest rates and currency devaluations. As a result, Central and South American securities markets have experienced great volatility. In addition, many of the region’s economies have become highly dependent upon foreign credit and loans from external sources to fuel their state-sponsored economic plans. A number of Central and South American countries are among the largest emerging country debtors. There have been moratoria on, and reschedulings of, repayment with respect to these debts. Such events can restrict the flexibility of these debtor nations in the international markets and result in the imposition of onerous conditions on their economies.

In the past, many Central and South American countries have experienced substantial, and in some periods extremely high, rates of inflation for many years. High inflation rates have also led to high interest rates. Inflation and rapid fluctuations in inflation rates have had, and could, in the future, have very negative effects on the economies and securities markets of certain Central and South American countries. Many of the currencies of Central and South American countries have experienced steady devaluation relative to the U.S. dollar, and major devaluations have historically occurred in certain countries. Any devaluations in the currencies in which the Fund’s portfolio securities are denominated may have a detrimental impact on the Fund. There is also a risk that certain Central and South American countries may restrict the free conversion of their currencies into other currencies. Some Central and South American countries may have managed currencies which are not free floating against the U.S. dollar. This type of system can lead to sudden and large adjustments in the currency that, in turn, can have a disruptive and negative effect on foreign investors. Certain Central and South American currencies may not be internationally traded and it would be difficult for the Fund to engage in foreign currency transactions designed to protect the value of the Fund’s interests in securities denominated in such currencies.

In addition, substantial limitations may exist in certain countries with respect to the Fund’s ability to repatriate investment income, capital or the proceeds of sales of securities by foreign investors. The Fund could be adversely affected by delays in, or a refusal to grant, any required governmental approval for repatriation of capital, as well as by the application to the Fund of any restrictions on investments.

The emergence of the Central and South American economies and securities markets will require continued economic and fiscal discipline that has been lacking at times in the past, as well as stable political and social conditions. Governments of many Central and South American countries have exercised and continue to exercise substantial influence over many aspects of the private sector. The political history of certain Central and South American countries has been characterized by political uncertainty, intervention by the military in civilian and economic spheres and political corruption. Now democracy is beginning to become well established in some countries. Domestic economies have been deregulated, state-owned companies privatized, and foreign trade restrictions relaxed. Such developments, if they do not continue, could reverse favorable trends toward market and economic reform, privatization and removal of trade barriers. Social inequality and poverty may contribute to political and economic instability in this region.

 

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International economic conditions, particularly those in the United States, as well as world prices for oil and other commodities may also influence the recovery of the Central and South American economies. Because commodities such as oil, gas, minerals and metals represent a significant percentage of the region’s exports, the economies of Central and South American countries are particularly sensitive to fluctuations in commodity prices. As a result, the economies in many of these countries can experience significant volatility.

Certain Central and South American countries have entered into regional trade agreements that would, among other things, reduce barriers among countries, increase competition among companies and reduce government subsidies in certain industries. No assurance can be given that these changes will result in the economic stability intended. There is a possibility that these trade arrangements will not be implemented, will be implemented but not completed or will be completed but then partially or completely unwound. It is also possible that a significant participant could choose to abandon a trade agreement, which could diminish its credibility and influence. Any of these occurrences could have adverse effects on the markets of both participating and non-participating countries, including share appreciation or depreciation of participant’s national currencies and a significant increase in exchange rate volatility, a resurgence in economic protectionism, an undermining of confidence in the Central and South American markets, an undermining of Central and South American economic stability, the collapse or slowdown of the drive toward Central and South American economic unity, and/or reversion of the attempts to lower government debt and inflation rates that were introduced in anticipation of such trade agreements. Such developments could have an adverse impact on the Fund’s investments in Central and South America generally or in specific countries participating in such trade agreements.

Investing in Eastern Europe. The Fund may seek investment opportunities within Eastern Europe. Most Eastern European countries had a centrally planned, socialist economy for a substantial period of time. The governments of many Eastern European countries have more recently been implementing reforms directed at political and economic liberalization, including efforts to decentralize the economic decision-making process and move towards a market economy. However, business entities in many Eastern European countries do not have an extended history of operating in a market-oriented economy, and the ultimate impact of Eastern European countries’ attempts to move toward more market-oriented economies is currently unclear. Any change in the leadership or policies of Eastern European countries may halt the expansion of or reverse the liberalization of foreign investment policies now occurring and adversely affect existing investment opportunities. In addition, Eastern European markets are particularly sensitive to social, economic and currency events in Western Europe and Russia. Russia may attempt to assert its influence in the region through military measures.

Where the Fund invests in securities issued by companies incorporated in or whose principal operations are located in Eastern Europe, other risks may also be encountered. Legal, political, economic and fiscal uncertainties in Eastern European markets may affect the value of the Fund’s investment in such securities. The currencies in which these investments may be denominated may be unstable, may be subject to significant depreciation and may not be freely convertible. Existing laws and regulations may not be consistently applied. The markets of the countries of Eastern Europe are still in the early stages of their development, have less volume, are less highly regulated, are less liquid and experience greater volatility than more established markets. Settlement of transactions may be subject to delay and administrative uncertainties. Custodians are not able to offer the level of service and safekeeping, settlement and administration services that is customary in more developed markets, and there is a risk that the Fund will not be recognized as the owner of securities held on its behalf by a sub-custodian.

Investing in Emerging Countries. The Fund may invest in equity and equity-related securities of foreign issuers, including emerging country issuers, and in debt securities of foreign issuers, including emerging country issuers, and in fixed income securities quoted or denominated in a currency other than U.S. dollars. The securities markets of emerging countries are less liquid and subject to greater price volatility, and have a smaller market capitalization, than the U.S. securities markets. In certain countries, there may be fewer publicly traded securities and the market may be dominated by a few issuers or sectors. Issuers and securities markets in such countries are not subject to as extensive and frequent accounting, financial and other reporting requirements or as comprehensive government regulations as are issuers and securities markets in the U.S. In particular, the assets and profits appearing on the financial statements of emerging country issuers may not reflect their financial position or results of operations in the same manner as financial statements for U.S. issuers. Substantially less information may be publicly available about emerging country issuers than is available about issuers in the United States.

Emerging country securities markets are typically marked by a high concentration of market capitalization and trading volume in a small number of issuers representing a limited number of industries, as well as a high concentration of ownership of such securities by a limited number of investors. The markets for securities in certain emerging countries are in the earliest stages of their development. The Fund’s investments in emerging countries are subject to the risk that the liquidity of particular instruments, or instruments generally in such countries, will shrink or disappear suddenly and without warning as a result of adverse economic, market or political conditions, or adverse investor perceptions, whether or not accurate. Even the markets for relatively widely traded securities in emerging countries

 

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may not be able to absorb, without price disruptions, a significant increase in trading volume or trades of a size customarily undertaken by institutional investors in the securities markets of developed countries. The limited size of many of these securities markets can cause prices to be erratic for reasons apart from factors that affect the soundness and competitiveness of the securities issuers. For example, prices may be unduly influenced by traders who control large positions in these markets. Additionally, market making and arbitrage activities are generally less extensive in such markets, which may contribute to increased volatility and reduced liquidity of such markets. The limited liquidity of emerging country securities may also affect the Fund’s ability to accurately value its portfolio securities or to acquire or dispose of securities at the price and time it wishes to do so or in order to meet redemption requests. The risks associated with reduced liquidity may be particularly acute to the extent that the Fund needs cash to meet redemption requests, to pay dividends and other distributions or to pay its expenses.

With respect to investments in certain emerging market countries, antiquated legal systems may have an adverse impact on the Fund. For example, while the potential liability of a shareholder in a U.S. corporation with respect to acts of the corporation is generally limited to the amount of the shareholder’s investment, the notion of limited liability is less clear in certain emerging market countries. Similarly, the rights of investors in emerging market companies may be more limited than those of shareholders of U.S. corporations.

Transaction costs, including brokerage commissions or dealer mark-ups, in emerging countries may be higher than in the United States and other developed securities markets. In addition, existing laws and regulations are often inconsistently applied. As legal systems in emerging countries develop, foreign investors may be adversely affected by new or amended laws and regulations. In circumstances where adequate laws exist, it may not be possible to obtain swift and equitable enforcement of the law.

Custodial and/or settlement systems in emerging markets countries may not be fully developed. To the extent the Fund invests in emerging markets, Fund assets that are traded in such markets and which have been entrusted to such sub-custodians in those markets may be exposed to risks for which the sub-custodian will have no liability.

Foreign investment in the securities markets of certain emerging countries is restricted or controlled to varying degrees. These restrictions may limit the Fund’s investment in certain emerging countries and may increase the expenses of the Fund. Certain emerging countries require governmental approval prior to investments by foreign persons or limit investment by foreign persons to only a specified percentage of an issuer’s outstanding securities or a specific class of securities which may have less advantageous terms (including price) than securities of the company available for purchase by nationals.

The repatriation of investment income, capital or proceeds of securities sales from emerging countries may be subject to restrictions which require governmental consents or prohibit repatriation entirely for a period of time, which may make it difficult for the Fund to invest in such emerging countries. The Fund could be adversely affected by delays in, or a refusal to grant, any required governmental approval for such repatriation. Even where there is no outright restriction on repatriation of capital, the mechanics of repatriation may affect certain aspects of the operation of the Fund. The Fund may be required to establish special custodial or other arrangements before investing in certain emerging countries.

Emerging countries may be subject to a substantially greater degree of economic, political and social instability and disruption than is the case in the United States, Japan and most Western European countries. This instability may result from, among other things, the following: (i) authoritarian governments or military involvement in political and economic decision making, including changes or attempted changes in governments through extra-constitutional means; (ii) popular unrest associated with demands for improved political, economic or social conditions; (iii) internal insurgencies; (iv) hostile relations with neighboring countries; (v) ethnic, religious and racial disaffection or conflict; and (vi) the absence of developed legal structures governing foreign private investments and private property. Such economic, political and social instability could disrupt the principal financial markets in which the Fund may invest and adversely affect the value of the Fund’s assets. The Fund’s investments can also be adversely affected by any increase in taxes or by political, economic or diplomatic developments.

The Fund may seek investment opportunities within former “Eastern bloc” countries. Most of these countries had a centrally planned, socialist economy for a substantial period of time. The governments of many of these countries have more recently been implementing reforms directed at political and economic liberalization, including efforts to decentralize the economic decision-making process and move towards a market economy. However, business entities in many of these countries do not have an extended history of operating in a market-oriented economy, and the ultimate impact of these countries’ attempts to move toward more market-oriented economies is currently unclear. In addition, any change in the leadership or policies of these countries may halt the expansion of or reverse the liberalization of foreign investment policies now occurring and adversely affect existing investment opportunities.

 

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The economies of emerging countries may differ unfavorably from the U.S. economy in such respects as growth of gross domestic product, rate of inflation, capital reinvestment, resources, self-sufficiency and balance of payments. Many emerging countries have experienced in the past, and continue to experience, high rates of inflation. In certain countries inflation has at times accelerated rapidly to hyperinflationary levels, creating a negative interest rate environment and sharply eroding the value of outstanding financial assets in those countries. Other emerging countries, on the other hand, have recently experienced deflationary pressures and are in economic recessions. The economies of many emerging countries are heavily dependent upon international trade and are accordingly affected by protective trade barriers and the economic conditions of their trading partners. In addition, the economies of some emerging countries are vulnerable to weakness in world prices for their commodity exports.

The Fund’s income and, in some cases, capital gains from foreign stocks and securities will be subject to applicable taxation in certain of the countries in which it invests, and treaties between the U.S. and such countries may not be available in some cases to reduce the otherwise applicable tax rates.

Investing in Europe. The Fund may operate in euros and/ or may hold euros and/or euro-denominated bonds and other obligations. The euro requires participation of multiple sovereign states forming the Euro zone and is therefore sensitive to the credit, general economic and political position of each such state, including each state’s actual and intended ongoing engagement with and/or support for the other sovereign states then forming the EU, in particular those within the Euro zone. Changes in these factors might materially adversely impact the value of securities that the Fund has invested in.

European countries can be significantly affected by the tight fiscal and monetary controls that the European Economic and Monetary Union (“EMU”) imposes for membership. Europe’s economies are diverse, its governments are decentralized, and its cultures vary widely. Several EU countries, including Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Portugal have faced budget issues, some of which may have negative long-term effects for the economies of those countries and other EU countries. There is continued concern about national-level support for the euro and the accompanying coordination of fiscal and wage policy among EMU member countries. Member countries are required to maintain tight control over inflation, public debt, and budget deficit to qualify for membership in the EMU. These requirements can severely limit the ability of EMU member countries to implement monetary policy to address regional economic conditions.

In a June 2016 referendum, citizens of the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU. In March 2017, the United Kingdom formally notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the EU (commonly known as “Brexit”) by invoking Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, which triggered a two-year period of negotiations on the terms of Brexit. Brexit has resulted in volatility in European and global markets and may also lead to weakening in political, regulatory, consumer, corporate and financial confidence in the markets of the United Kingdom and throughout Europe. The longer term economic, legal, political, regulatory and social framework to be put in place between the United Kingdom and the EU remains unclear and may lead to ongoing political, regulatory and economic uncertainty and periods of exacerbated volatility in both the United Kingdom and in wider European markets for some time. Additionally, the decision made in the British referendum may lead to a call for similar referenda in other European jurisdictions, which may cause increased economic volatility in European and global markets. The mid-to long-term uncertainty may have an adverse effect on the economy generally and on the value of the Fund’s investments. This may be due to, among other things: fluctuations in asset values and exchange rates; increased illiquidity of investments located, traded or listed within the United Kingdom, the EU or elsewhere; changes in the willingness or ability of counterparties to enter into transactions at the price and terms on which the Fund is prepared to transact; and/or changes in legal and regulatory regimes to which certain of the Fund’s assets are or become subject. Fluctuations in the value of the British Pound and/or the Euro, along with the potential downgrading of the United Kingdom’s sovereign credit rating, may also have an impact on the performance of the Fund’s assets or investments economically tied to the United Kingdom or Europe.

The effects of Brexit will depend, in part, on agreements the United Kingdom negotiates to retain access to EU markets including, but not limited to, trade and finance agreements. Brexit could lead to legal and tax uncertainty and potentially divergent national laws and regulations as the United Kingdom determines which EU laws to replace or replicate. The extent of the impact of the withdrawal in the United Kingdom and in global markets as well as any associated adverse consequences remain unclear, and the uncertainty may have a significant negative effect on the value of the Fund’s investments. While certain measures are being proposed and/or will be introduced, at the EU level or at the member state level, which are designed to minimize disruption in the financial markets, it is not currently possible to determine whether such measures would achieve their intended effects.

On January 31, 2020, the United Kingdom withdrew from the EU subject to a withdrawal agreement that permits the United Kingdom to effectively remain in the EU from an economic perspective during a transition phase that expires at the end of 2020. During this transition phase, the United Kingdom and the EU will seek to negotiate and finalize a new, more permanent trade deal. Due to political uncertainty, it is not possible to anticipate whether the United Kingdom and the EU will be able to agree on and implement a new trade agreement or what the nature of such trade arrangement will be. In the event that no agreement is reached, the relationship between the United Kingdom and the EU would be based on the World Trade Organization rules.

 

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Other economic challenges facing the region include high levels of public debt, significant rates of unemployment, aging populations, and heavy regulation in certain economic sectors. European policy makers have taken unprecedented steps to respond to the economic crisis and to boost growth in the region, which has increased the risk that regulatory uncertainty could negatively affect the value of the Fund’s investments.

Other economic challenges facing the region include high levels of public debt, significant rates of unemployment, aging populations, and heavy regulation in certain economic sectors. European policy makers have taken unprecedented steps to respond to the economic crisis and to boost growth in the region, which has increased the risk that regulatory uncertainty could negatively affect the value of the Fund’s investments.

Certain countries have applied to become new member countries of the EU and these candidate countries’ accessions may become more controversial to the existing EU members. Some member states may repudiate certain candidate countries joining the EU upon concerns about the possible economic, immigration and cultural implications. Also, Russia may be opposed to the expansion of the EU to members of the former Soviet bloc and may, at times, take actions that could negatively impact EU economic activity.

Foreign Government Obligations. Foreign government obligations include securities, instruments and obligations issued or guaranteed by a foreign government, its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises. Investment in foreign government obligations can involve a high degree of risk. The governmental entity that controls the repayment of foreign government obligations may not be able or willing to repay the principal and/or interest when due in accordance with the terms of such debt. A governmental entity’s willingness or ability to repay principal and interest due in a timely manner may be affected by, among other factors, its cash flow situation, the extent of its foreign reserves, the availability of sufficient foreign exchange on the date a payment is due, the relative size of the debt service burden to the economy as a whole, the governmental entity’s policy towards the International Monetary Fund and the political constraints to which a governmental entity may be subject. Governmental entities may also be dependent on expected disbursements from foreign governments, multilateral agencies and others abroad to reduce principal and interest on their debt. The commitment on the part of these governments, agencies and others to make such disbursements may be conditioned on a governmental entity’s implementation of economic reforms and/or economic performance and the timely service of such debtor’s obligations. Failure to implement such reforms, achieve such levels of economic performance or repay principal or interest when due may result in the cancellation of such third parties’ commitments to lend funds to the governmental entity, which may further impair such debtor’s ability or willingness to service its debts in a timely manner. Consequently, governmental entities may default on their debt. Holders of foreign government obligations (including the Fund) may be requested to participate in the rescheduling of such debt and to extend further loans to governmental agencies.

Investing in Greater China. Investing in Greater China (Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan) involves a high degree of risk and special considerations not typically associated with investing in other more established economies or securities markets. Such risks may include: (a) greater social, economic and political uncertainty (including the risk of armed conflict); (b) the risk of nationalization or expropriation of assets or confiscatory taxation; (c) dependency on exports and the corresponding importance of international trade; (d) the imposition of tariffs or other trade barriers by the U.S. or foreign governments on exports from Mainland China; (e) increasing competition from Asia’s other low-cost emerging economies; (f) greater price volatility and smaller market capitalization of securities markets; (g) decreased liquidity, particularly of certain share classes of Chinese securities; (h) currency exchange rate fluctuations (with respect to investments in Mainland China and Taiwan) and the lack of available currency hedging instruments; (i) higher rates of inflation; (j) controls on foreign investment and limitations on repatriation of invested capital and on the Fund’s ability to exchange local currencies for U.S. dollars; (k) greater governmental involvement in and control over the economy; (l) uncertainty regarding the People’s Republic of China’s commitment to economic reforms; (m) the fact that Chinese companies may be smaller, less seasoned and newly-organized companies; (n) the differences in, or lack of, auditing and financial reporting standards which may result in unavailability of material information about issuers; (o) the fact that statistical information regarding the economy of Greater China may be inaccurate or not comparable to statistical information regarding the U.S. or other economies; (p) less extensive, and still developing, legal systems and regulatory frameworks regarding the securities markets, business entities and commercial transactions; (q) the fact that the settlement period of securities transactions in foreign markets may be longer; (r) the fact that it may be more difficult, or impossible, to obtain and/or enforce a judgment than in other countries; and (s) the rapid and erratic nature of growth, particularly in the People’s Republic of China, resulting in inefficiencies and dislocations.

 

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Mainland China. Investments Mainland China are subject to the risks associated with greater governmental control over the economy, political and legal uncertainties and currency fluctuations or blockage. In particular, the Chinese Communist Party exercises significant control over economic growth in Mainland China through the allocation of resources, controlling payment of foreign currency- denominated obligations, setting monetary policy and providing preferential treatment to particular industries or companies.

Because the local legal system is still developing, it may be more difficult to obtain or enforce judgments with respect to investments in Mainland China. Chinese companies may not be subject to the same disclosure, accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards and practices as U.S. companies. Thus, there may be less information publicly available about Chinese companies than about most U.S. companies. Government supervision and regulation of Chinese stock exchanges, currency markets, trading systems and brokers may be more or less rigorous than that present in the U.S. The procedures and rules governing transactions and custody in Mainland China also may involve delays in payment, delivery or recovery of money or investments. The imposition of tariffs or other trade barriers by the U.S. or other foreign governments on exports from Mainland China may also have an adverse impact on Chinese issuers and China’s economy as a whole.

Foreign investments in Mainland China are somewhat restricted. Securities listed on the Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges are divided into two classes of shares: A shares and B Shares. Ownership of A Shares is restricted to Chinese investors, Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors (“QFIIs”) who have obtained a QFII license, and participants in the Shanghai-Hong Kong and Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect programs (“Stock Connect”). B shares may be owned by Chinese and foreign investors. The Fund may obtain exposure to the A share market in the People’s Republic of China by either investing directly in A shares through participation in Stock Connect, or by investing in participatory notes issued by banks, broker-dealers and other financial institutions, or other structured or derivative instruments that are designed to replicate, or otherwise provide exposure to, the performance of A shares of Chinese companies. The Fund may also invest directly in B shares on the Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges.

As a result of investing in the People’s Republic of China, the Fund may be subject to withholding and various other taxes imposed by the People’s Republic of China. To date, a 10% withholding tax has been levied on cash dividends, distributions and interest payments from companies listed in the People’s Republic of China to foreign investors, unless the withholding tax can be reduced by an applicable income tax treaty.

As of November 17, 2014, foreign mutual funds, which qualify as Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors (“QFIIs”) and/or RMB Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors (“RQFIIs”), are temporarily exempt from enterprise income tax on capital gains arising from securities trading in the People’s Republic of China. It is currently unclear when this preferential treatment would end. If the preferential treatment were to end, such capital gains would be subject to a 10% withholding tax in the People’s Republic of China. Meanwhile, the purchase and sale of publicly traded equities by a QFII/RQFII is exempt from value-added tax in the People’s Republic of China.

The tax law and regulations of the People’s Republic of China are constantly changing, and they may be changed with retrospective effect to the advantage or disadvantage of shareholders. The interpretation and applicability of the tax law and regulations by tax authorities may not be as consistent and transparent as those of more developed nations, and may vary from region to region. It should also be noted that any provision for taxation made by the Investment Adviser may be excessive or inadequate to meet final tax liabilities. Consequently, shareholders may be advantaged or disadvantaged depending upon the final tax liabilities, the level of provision and when they subscribed and/or redeemed their shares of the Fund.

Hong Kong. Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. Since Hong Kong reverted to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, it has been governed by the Basic Law, a “quasi-constitution.” The Basic Law guarantees a high degree of autonomy in certain matters, including economic matters, until 2047. Attempts by the government of the People’s Republic of China to exert greater control over Hong Kong’s economic, political or legal structures or its existing social policy, could negatively affect investor confidence in Hong Kong, which in turn could negatively affect markets and business performance.

In addition, the Hong Kong dollar trades within a fixed trading band rate to (or is “pegged” to) the U.S. dollar. This fixed exchange rate has contributed to the growth and stability of the economy, but could be discontinued. It is uncertain what effect any discontinuance of the currency peg and the establishment of an alternative exchange rate system would have on the Hong Kong economy.

Taiwan. The prospect of political reunification of the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan has engendered hostility between the two regions’ governments. This situation poses a significant threat to Taiwan’s economy, as heightened conflict could potentially lead to distortions in Taiwan’s capital accounts and have an adverse impact on the value of investments throughout Greater China.

Investing in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong economy is dependent on the U.S. economy and the economies of other Asian countries and can be significantly affected by currency fluctuations and increasing competition from Asia’s other emerging economies. The willingness and ability of the Chinese government to support the Hong Kong economy and market is uncertain, and changes in the Chinese government’s position could significantly affect Hong Kong’s economy. Asia includes countries in all stages of economic

 

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development, although most Asian economies are characterized by over-extension of credit, currency devaluations and restrictions, rising unemployment, high inflation, decreased exports and economic recessions. Currency devaluations in any one country can have a significant effect on the entire Asian region. In the late 1990s, the economies in the Asian region suffered significant downturns and significant volatility increased. Heightened political and social unrest in any Asian country could cause further economic and market uncertainty in the region.

In 1997, Great Britain handed over control of Hong Kong to the Chinese mainland government. Since that time, Hong Kong has been governed by a semi-constitution known as the Basic Law, which guarantees a high degree of autonomy in certain matters until 2047, while defense and foreign affairs are the responsibility of the central government in Beijing. The chief executive of Hong Kong is appointed by the Chinese government. Hong Kong is able to participate in international organizations and agreements and it continues to function as an international financial center, with no exchange controls, free convertibility of the Hong Kong dollar and free inward and outward movement of capital. The Basic Law guarantees existing freedoms, including free speech and assembly, press, religion, and the right to strike and travel. Business ownership, private property, the right of inheritance and foreign investment are also protected by law. China has committed by treaty to preserve Hong Kong’s autonomy until 2047. However, if China were to exert its authority so as to alter the economic, political or legal structures of existing social policy of Hong Kong, investor and business confidence in Hong Kong could be negatively affected, which in turn could negatively affect markets and business performance.

Trading on Hong Kong’s stock exchange is conducted in the post trading method, matching buyers and sellers through public outcry. Securities are denominated in the official unit of currency, the Hong Kong dollar. Foreign investment in Hong Kong is generally unrestricted and proper regulatory oversight is administered by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission. Investors are subject to a small stamp duty and a stock exchange levy, but capital gains are tax-exempt. Despite significant upgrades in the required presentation of financial information in the past decade, reporting, accounting and auditing practices remain significantly less rigorous than U.S. standards. In general, Hong Kong corporations are not required to provide all the disclosure required by U.S. law and accounting practice, and such disclosure may be less timely and less frequent than that required of U.S. corporations.

The total market capitalization of the Hong Kong stock market is small relative to the U.S. stock market. Hong Kong’s chief industries are textiles, clothing, tourism, banking, shipping, electronics, plastics, toys, watches and clocks. Hong Kong’s chief imports consist of electrical machinery and appliances, textiles, foodstuffs, transport equipment, raw materials, semi manufactures, petroleum and plastics. Hong Kong’s chief exports consist of electrical machinery and appliances, textiles, apparel footwear, watches and clocks, toys, plastics, and precious stones.

Investing in Japan. Japan’s economy is heavily dependent upon international trade and is especially sensitive to any adverse effects arising from trade tariffs and other protectionist measures, as well as the economic condition of its trading partners. Japan’s high volume of exports has caused trade tensions with Japan’s primary trading partners, particularly with the United States. The relaxing of official and de facto barriers to imports, or hardships created by the actions of trading partners, could adversely affect Japan’s economy. Because the Japanese economy is so dependent on exports, any fall-off in exports may be seen as a sign of economic weakness, which may adversely affect Japanese markets. In addition, Japan’s export industry, its most important economic sector, depends heavily on imported raw materials and fuels, including iron ore, copper, oil and many forest products. Japan has historically depended on oil for most of its energy requirements. Almost all of its oil is imported, the majority from the Middle East. In the past, oil prices have had a major impact on the domestic economy, but more recently Japan has worked to reduce its dependence on oil by encouraging energy conservation and use of alternative fuels. However, Japan remains sensitive to fluctuations in commodity prices, and a substantial rise in world oil or commodity prices could have a negative effect on its economy.

The Japanese yen has fluctuated widely during recent periods and may be affected by currency volatility elsewhere in Asia, especially Southeast Asia. In addition, the yen has had a history of unpredictable and volatile movements against the U.S. dollar. A weak yen is disadvantageous to U.S. shareholders investing in yen-denominated securities. A strong yen, however, could be an impediment to strong continued exports and economic recovery, because it makes Japanese goods sold in other countries more expensive and reduces the value of foreign earnings repatriated to Japan.

The performance of the global economy could have a major impact upon equity returns in Japan. As a result of the strong correlation with the economy of the U.S., Japan’s economy and its stock market are vulnerable to any unfavorable economic conditions in the U.S. and poor performance of U.S. stock markets. The growing economic relationship between Japan and its other neighboring countries in the Southeast Asia region, especially China, also exposes Japan’s economy to changes to the economic climates in those countries.

 

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Like many developed countries, Japan faces challenges to its competitiveness. Growth slowed markedly in the 1990s and Japan’s economy fell into a long recession. After a few years of mild recovery in the mid-2000s, the Japanese economy fell into another recession in part due to the recent global economic crisis. This economic recession was likely compounded by an unstable financial sector, low domestic consumption, and certain corporate structural weaknesses, which remain some of the major issues facing the Japanese economy. Japan is reforming its political process and deregulating its economy to address this situation. However, there is no guarantee that these efforts will succeed in making the performance of the Japanese economy more competitive.

Japan has experienced natural disasters, such as earthquakes and tidal waves, of varying degrees of severity. The risks of such phenomena, and the resulting damage, continue to exist and could have a severe and negative impact on an underlying fund’s holdings in Japanese securities. Japan also has one of the world’s highest population densities. A significant percentage of the total population of Japan is concentrated in the metropolitan areas of Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya. Therefore, a natural disaster centered in or very near to one of these cities could have a particularly devastating effect on Japan’s financial markets. Japan’s recovery from the recession has been affected by economic distress resulting from the earthquake and resulting tsunami that struck northeastern Japan in March 2011 causing major damage along the coast, including damage to nuclear power plants in the region. Since the earthquake, Japan’s financial markets have fluctuated dramatically. The disaster caused large personal losses, reduced energy supplies, disrupted manufacturing, resulted in significant declines in stock market prices and resulted in an appreciable decline in Japan’s economic output. Although production levels are recovering in some industries as work is shifted to factories in areas not directly affected by the disaster, the timing of a full economic recovery is uncertain, and foreign business whose supply chains are dependent on production or manufacturing in Japan may decrease their reliance on Japanese industries in the future.

Investing in Russia. In addition to the risks listed above under “Foreign Securities” and “Investing in Emerging Countries,” investing in Russia presents additional risks. Investing in Russian securities is highly speculative and involves significant risks and special considerations not typically associated with investing in the securities markets of the U.S. and most other developed countries. Over the past century, Russia has experienced political, social and economic turbulence and has endured decades of communist rule under which tens of millions of its citizens were collectivized into state agricultural and industrial enterprises. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia’s government has been faced with the daunting task of stabilizing its domestic economy, while transforming it into a modern and efficient structure able to compete in international markets and respond to the needs of its citizens. However, to date, many of the country’s economic reform initiatives have floundered as the proceeds of International Monetary Fund and other economic assistance have been squandered or stolen. In this environment, there is always the risk that the nation’s government will abandon the current program of economic reform and replace it with radically different political and economic policies that would be detrimental to the interests of foreign investors. This could entail a return to a centrally planned economy and nationalization of private enterprises similar to what existed under the old Soviet Union.

Poor accounting standards, inept management, pervasive corruption, insider trading and crime, and inadequate regulatory protection for the rights of investors all pose a significant risk, particularly to foreign investors. In addition, there is the risk that the Russian tax system will not be reformed to prevent inconsistent, retroactive, and/or exorbitant taxation, or, in the alternative, the risk that a reformed tax system may result in the inconsistent and unpredictable enforcement of the new tax laws.

Compared to most national stock markets, the Russian securities market suffers from a variety of problems not encountered in more developed markets. There is little long-term historical data on the Russian securities market because it is relatively new and a substantial proportion of securities transactions in Russia are privately negotiated outside of stock exchanges. The inexperience of the Russian securities market and the limited volume of trading in securities in the market may make obtaining accurate prices on portfolio securities from independent sources more difficult than in more developed markets. Additionally, because of less stringent auditing and financial reporting standards that apply to U.S. companies, there is little solid corporate information available to investors. As a result, it may be difficult to assess the value or prospects of an investment in Russian companies. Stocks of Russian companies also may experience greater price volatility than stocks of U.S. companies.

Because of the relatively recent formation of the Russian securities market as well as the underdeveloped state of the banking and telecommunications systems, settlement, clearing and registration of securities transactions are subject to significant risks. Prior to 2013, there was no central registration system for share registration in Russia and registration was carried out by the companies themselves or by registrars located throughout Russia. These registrars were not necessarily subject to effective state supervision nor were they licensed with any governmental entity. In 2013, Russia implemented the National Settlement Depository (NSD) as a recognized central securities depository (CSD). Title to Russian equities is now based on the records of the NSD rather than the registrars. The implementation of the NSD is expected to enhance the efficiency and transparency of the Russian securities market and decrease risk of loss in connection with recording and transferring title to securities. The Fund also may experience difficulty in obtaining and/or enforcing judgments in Russia.

 

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The Russian economy is heavily dependent upon the export of a range of commodities including most industrial metals, forestry products, oil, and gas. Accordingly, it is strongly affected by international commodity prices and is particularly vulnerable to any weakening in global demand for these products.

Foreign investors also face a high degree of currency risk when investing in Russian securities and a lack of available currency hedging instruments. In a surprise move in August 1998, Russia devalued the ruble, defaulted on short-term domestic bonds, and imposed a moratorium on the repayment of its international debt and the restructuring of the repayment terms. These actions negatively affected Russian borrowers’ ability to access international capital markets and had a damaging impact on the Russian economy. In addition, there is the risk that the government may impose capital controls on foreign portfolio investments in the event of extreme financial or political crisis. Such capital controls would prevent the sale of a portfolio of foreign assets and the repatriation of investment income and capital.

Russia’s government has begun to take bolder steps, including use of the military, to re-assert its regional geo-political influence. These steps may increase tensions between its neighbors and Western countries, which may adversely affect its economic growth. These developments may continue for some time and create uncertainty in the region. Russia’s actions have induced the United States and other countries to impose economic sanctions and may result in additional sanctions in the future. Such sanctions, which impact many sectors of the Russian economy, may cause a decline in the value and liquidity of Russian securities and adversely affect the performance of the Fund or make it difficult for the Fund to achieve its investment objectives. In certain instances, sanctions could prohibit the Fund from buying or selling Russian securities, rendering any such securities held by the Fund unmarketable for an indefinite period of time. In addition, such sanctions, and the Russian government’s response, could result in a downgrade in Russia’s credit rating, devaluation of its currency and/or increased volatility with respect to Russian securities.

Investing in the United Kingdom. The economies of the United Kingdom may be significantly affected by the economies of other European countries. Europe includes both developed and emerging economies. Most developed countries in Western Europe are members of the EU, and many are also members of the EMU. The EMU requires compliance with restrictions on inflation rates, deficits, and debt levels, and the tight fiscal and monetary controls necessary to join the EMU may significantly affect every country in Europe. Many Eastern European countries continue to move toward market economies. However, Eastern European markets remain relatively undeveloped and can be particularly sensitive to political and economic developments.

The United Kingdom is Europe’s largest equity market in terms of aggregate market capitalization. Despite having a great deal of common purpose and common concepts, the accounting principles in the United Kingdom and the U.S. can lead to markedly different financial statements. In the global market for capital, investors may want to know about a company’s results and financial position under their own principles. This is particularly so in the U.S. capital markets. The overriding requirement for a United Kingdom company’s financial statements is that they give a “true and fair” view. Accounting standards are an authoritative source as to what is and is not a true and fair view, but do not define it unequivocally. Ad hoc adaptations to specific circumstances may be required. In the U.S., financial statements are more conformed because they must be prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

The British economy relies heavily on the export of financial services to the United States and other European countries. As a result, any decline in the financial services sector may have a negative impact on the British economy.

The United Kingdom’s chief industries are machine tools, electric power equipment, automation equipment, railroad equipment, shipbuilding, aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, electronics and communications equipment, metals, chemicals, coal, petroleum, paper and paper products, food processing, textiles, clothing and other consumer goods. The United Kingdom’s chief imports consist of manufactured goods, machinery, fuels and foodstuffs. Chief exports consist of manufactured goods, fuels, chemicals, food, beverages and tobacco.

In the past, the United Kingdom has been the target of acts of terrorism. Any acts of terrorism in the United Kingdom or against British interests abroad may cause uncertainty in the British financial markets and adversely affect the value of the underlying funds.

Restrictions on Investment and Repatriation. Certain emerging countries require governmental approval prior to investments by foreign persons or limit investments by foreign persons to only a specified percentage of an issuer’s outstanding securities or a specific class of securities which may have less advantageous terms (including price) than securities of the issuer available for purchase by nationals. Repatriation of investment income and capital from certain emerging countries is subject to certain governmental consents. Even where there is no outright restriction on repatriation of capital, the mechanics of repatriation may affect the operation of the Fund.

 

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Sovereign Debt Obligations. Investment in sovereign debt can involve a high degree of risk. The governmental entity that controls the repayment of sovereign debt may not be able or willing to repay the principal and/or interest when due in accordance with the terms of such debt. A governmental entity’s willingness or ability to repay principal and interest due in a timely manner may be affected by, among other factors, its cash flow situation, the extent of its foreign reserves, the availability of sufficient foreign exchange on the date a payment is due, the relative size of the debt service burden to the economy as a whole, the governmental entity’s policy towards the International Monetary Fund and the political constraints to which a governmental entity may be subject. Governmental entities may also be dependent on expected disbursements from foreign governments, multilateral agencies and others abroad to reduce principal and interest on their debt. The commitment on the part of these governments, agencies and others to make such disbursements may be conditioned on a governmental entity’s implementation of economic reforms and/or economic performance and the timely service of such debtor’s obligations. Failure to implement such reforms, achieve such levels of economic performance or repay principal or interest when due may result in the cancellation of such third parties’ commitments to lend funds to the governmental entity, which may further impair such debtor’s ability or willingness to service its debts in a timely manner. Consequently, governmental entities may default on their sovereign debt. Holders of sovereign debt (including the Fund) may be requested to participate in the rescheduling of such debt and to extend further loans to governmental agencies.

Emerging country governmental issuers are among the largest debtors to commercial banks, foreign governments, international financial organizations and other financial institutions. Certain emerging country governmental issuers have not been able to make payments of interest on or principal of debt obligations as those payments have come due. Obligations arising from past restructuring agreements may affect the economic performance and political and social stability of those issuers.

The ability of emerging country governmental issuers to make timely payments on their obligations is likely to be influenced strongly by the issuer’s balance of payments, including export performance, and its access to international credits and investments. An emerging country whose exports are concentrated in a few commodities could be vulnerable to a decline in the international prices of one or more of those commodities. Increased protectionism on the part of an emerging country’s trading partners could also adversely affect the country’s exports and tarnish its trade account surplus, if any. To the extent that emerging countries receive payment for their exports in currencies other than dollars or non-emerging country currencies, the emerging country issuer’s ability to make debt payments denominated in dollars or non-emerging market currencies could be affected.

To the extent that an emerging country cannot generate a trade surplus, it must depend on continuing loans from foreign governments, multilateral organizations or private commercial banks, aid payments from foreign governments and on inflows of foreign investment. The access of emerging countries to these forms of external funding may not be certain, and a withdrawal of external funding could adversely affect the capacity of emerging country governmental issuers to make payments on their obligations. In addition, the cost of servicing emerging country debt obligations can be affected by a change in international interest rates since the majority of these obligations carry interest rates that are adjusted periodically based upon international rates.

Another factor bearing on the ability of emerging countries to repay debt obligations is the level of international reserves of a country. Fluctuations in the level of these reserves affect the amount of foreign exchange readily available for external debt payments and thus could have a bearing on the capacity of emerging countries to make payments on these debt obligations.

As a result of the foregoing or other factors, a governmental obligor, especially in an emerging country, may default on its obligations. If such an event occurs, the Fund may have limited legal recourse against the issuer and/or guarantor. Remedies must, in some cases, be pursued in the courts of the defaulting party itself, and the ability of the holder of foreign sovereign debt securities to obtain recourse may be subject to the political climate in the relevant country. In addition, no assurance can be given that the holders of commercial bank debt will not contest payments to the holders of other foreign sovereign debt obligations in the event of default under the commercial bank loan agreements.

Brady Bonds. Certain foreign debt obligations, customarily referred to as “Brady Bonds,” are created through the exchange of existing commercial bank loans to foreign entities for new obligations in connection with debt restructuring under a plan introduced by former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Nicholas F. Brady (the “Brady Plan”). Brady Bonds may be fully or partially collateralized or uncollateralized and issued in various currencies (although most are U.S. dollar denominated). In the event of a default on collateralized Brady Bonds for which obligations are accelerated, the collateral for the payment of principal will not be distributed to investors, nor will such obligations be sold and the proceeds distributed. The collateral will be held by the collateral agent to the scheduled maturity of the defaulted Brady Bonds, which will continue to be outstanding, at which time the face amount of the collateral will equal the principal payments which would have then been due on the Brady Bonds in the normal course. In light of the residual risk of the Brady Bonds and, among other factors, the history of default with respect to commercial bank loans by public and private entities of countries issuing Brady Bonds, investments in Brady Bonds may be speculative.

 

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Forward Foreign Currency Exchange Contracts

The Fund may enter into forward foreign currency exchange contracts for hedging purposes and to seek to protect against anticipated changes in future foreign currency exchange rates. The Fund may also enter into forward foreign currency exchange contracts to seek to increase total return. A forward foreign currency exchange contract involves an obligation to purchase or sell a specific currency at a future date, which may be any fixed number of days from the date of the contract agreed upon by the parties, at a price set at the time of the contract. These contracts are traded in the interbank market between currency traders (usually large commercial banks) and their customers. A forward contract generally has no deposit requirement, and no commissions are generally charged at any stage for trades.

At the maturity of a forward contract the Fund may either accept or make delivery of the currency specified in the contract or, at or prior to maturity, enter into a closing purchase transaction involving the purchase or sale of an offsetting contract. Closing purchase transactions with respect to forward contracts are often, but not always, effected with the currency trader who is a party to the original forward contract.

The Fund may, from time to time, engage in non-deliverable forward transactions to manage currency risk or to gain exposure to a currency without purchasing securities denominated in that currency. A non-deliverable forward is a transaction that represents an agreement between the Fund and a counterparty (usually a commercial bank) to pay the other party the amount that it would have cost based on market rates as of the termination date to buy or sell a specified (notional) amount of a particular currency at an agreed upon foreign exchange rate on an agreed upon future date. If the counterparty defaults, the Fund will have contractual remedies pursuant to the agreement related to the transaction, but the Fund may be delayed or prevented from obtaining payments owed to it pursuant to non- deliverable forward transactions. Such non-deliverable forward transactions will be settled in cash.

The Fund may enter into forward foreign currency exchange contracts in several circumstances. First, when the Fund enters into a contract for the purchase or sale of a security denominated or quoted in a foreign currency, or when the Fund anticipates the receipt in a foreign currency of dividend or interest payments on such a security which it holds, the Fund may desire to “lock in” the U.S. dollar price of the security or the U.S. dollar equivalent of such dividend or interest payment, as the case may be. By entering into a forward contract for the purchase or sale, for a fixed amount of U.S. dollars, of the amount of foreign currency involved in the underlying transactions, the Fund will attempt to protect itself against an adverse change in the relationship between the U.S. dollar and the subject foreign currency during the period between the date on which the security is purchased or sold, or on which the dividend or interest payment is declared, and the date on which such payments are made or received.

Additionally, when the Fund’s investment adviser believes that the currency of a particular foreign country may suffer a substantial decline against the U.S. dollar, it may enter into a forward contract to sell, for a fixed amount of U.S. dollars, the amount of foreign currency approximating the value of some or all of the Fund’s portfolio securities quoted or denominated in such foreign currency. The precise matching of the forward contract amounts and the value of the securities involved will not generally be possible because the future value of such securities in foreign currencies will change as a consequence of market movements in the value of those securities between the date on which the contract is entered into and the date it matures. Using forward contracts to protect the value of the Fund’s portfolio securities against a decline in the value of a currency does not eliminate fluctuations in the underlying prices of the securities. It simply establishes a rate of exchange which the Fund can achieve at some future point in time. The precise projection of short-term currency market movements is not possible, and short-term hedging provides a means of fixing the U.S. dollar value of only a portion of the Fund’s foreign assets.

The Fund may engage in cross-hedging by using forward contracts in one currency to hedge against fluctuations in the value of securities quoted or denominated in a different currency if the Fund’s investment adviser determines that there is a pattern of correlation between the two currencies. In addition, the Fund may enter into foreign currency transactions to seek a closer correlation between the Fund’s overall currency exposure and the currency exposure of the Fund’s performance benchmark. The Fund will not enter into a forward contract with a term of greater than one year.

While the Fund may enter into forward contracts to reduce currency exchange rate risks, transactions in such contracts involve certain other risks. Thus, while the Fund may benefit from such transactions, unanticipated changes in currency prices may result in a poorer overall performance for the Fund than if it had not engaged in any such transactions. Moreover, there may be imperfect correlation between the Fund’s portfolio holdings of securities quoted or denominated in a particular currency and forward contracts entered into by the Fund. Such imperfect correlation may cause the Fund to sustain losses which will prevent the Fund from achieving a complete hedge or expose the Fund to risk of foreign exchange loss.

 

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Certain forward foreign currency exchange contracts and other currency transactions are not exchange traded or cleared. Markets for trading such foreign forward currency contracts offer less protection against defaults than is available when trading in currency instruments on an exchange. Such forward contracts are subject to the risk that the counterparty to the contract will default on its obligations. Because these contracts are not guaranteed by an exchange or clearinghouse, a default on a contract would deprive the Fund of unrealized profits, transaction costs or the benefits of a currency hedge or force the Fund to cover its purchase or sale commitments, if any, at the current market price. In addition, the institutions that deal in forward currency contracts are not required to make markets in the currencies they trade and these markets can experience periods of illiquidity.

These and other factors discussed in the section below, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in issuers of emerging country securities.

Forward contracts are subject to the risk that the counterparty to such contract will default on its obligations. Because a forward foreign currency exchange contract is not guaranteed by an exchange or clearinghouse, a default on the contract would deprive the Fund of unrealized profits, transaction costs or the benefits of a currency hedge or force the Fund to cover its purchase or sale commitments, if any, at the current market price. The Fund will not enter into such transactions unless the credit quality of the unsecured senior debt or the claims-paying ability of the counterparty is considered to be investment grade by its investment adviser. To the extent that a substantial portion of the Fund’s total assets, adjusted to reflect the Fund’s net position after giving effect to currency transactions, is denominated or quoted in the currencies of foreign countries, the Fund will be more susceptible to the risk of adverse economic and political developments within those countries.

Futures Contracts and Options on Futures Contracts

The Fund may purchase and sell futures contracts and may also purchase and write call and put options on futures contracts. The futures contracts may be based on various securities, securities indices, foreign currencies and other financial instruments and indices. The Fund may engage in futures and related options transactions in order to seek to increase total return or to hedge against changes in interest rates or securities prices or, to the extent the Fund invests in foreign securities, currency exchange rates, or to otherwise manage its term structure, sector selection and duration of its fixed income securities holdings in accordance with its investment objective and policies. The Fund may also enter into closing purchase and sale transactions with respect to such contracts and options.

Futures contracts utilized by mutual funds have historically been traded on U.S. exchanges or boards of trade that are licensed and regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”) or on foreign exchanges. More recently, certain futures may also be traded either over-the-counter or on trading facilities such as derivatives transaction execution facilities, exempt boards of trade or electronic trading facilities that are licensed and/or regulated to varying degrees by the CFTC. Also, certain single stock futures and narrow based security index futures may be traded either over-the-counter or on trading facilities such as contract markets, derivatives transaction execution facilities and electronic trading facilities that are licensed and/or regulated to varying degrees by both the CFTC and the SEC, or on foreign exchanges.

Neither the CFTC, National Futures Association (“NFA”), SEC nor any domestic exchange regulates activities of any foreign exchange or boards of trade, including the execution, delivery and clearing of transactions, or has the power to compel enforcement of the rules of a foreign exchange or board of trade or any applicable foreign law. This is true even if the exchange is formally linked to a domestic market so that a position taken on the market may be liquidated by a transaction on another market. Moreover, such laws or regulations will vary depending on the foreign country in which the foreign futures or foreign options transaction occurs. For these reasons, the Fund’s investments in foreign futures or foreign options transactions may not be provided the same protections in respect of transactions on United States exchanges. In particular, persons who trade foreign futures or foreign options contracts may not be afforded certain of the protective measures provided by the CEA, the CFTC’s regulations and the rules of the NFA and any domestic exchange, including the right to use reparations proceedings before the CFTC and arbitration proceedings provided by the NFA or any domestic futures exchange. Similarly, those persons may not have the protection of the U.S. securities laws.

Futures Contracts. A futures contract may generally be described as an agreement between two parties to buy and sell particular financial instruments for an agreed price during a designated month (or to deliver the final cash settlement price, in the case of a contract relating to an index or otherwise not calling for physical delivery at the end of trading in the contract).

When interest rates are rising or securities prices are falling, the Fund can seek through the sale of futures contracts to offset a decline in the value of its current portfolio securities. When interest rates are falling or securities prices are rising, the Fund, through the purchase of futures contracts, can attempt to secure better rates or prices than might later be available in the market when it effects anticipated purchases. Similarly, the Fund may purchase and sell futures contracts on a specified currency in order to seek to increase

 

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total return or to protect against changes in currency exchange rates. For example, the Fund may purchase futures contracts on foreign currency to establish the price in U.S. dollars of a security quoted or denominated in such currency that the Fund has acquired or expects to acquire. In addition, the Fund may enter into futures transactions to seek a closer correlation between the Fund’s overall currency exposures and the currency exposures of the Fund’s performance benchmark.

Positions taken in the futures market are not normally held to maturity, but are instead liquidated through offsetting transactions which may result in a profit or a loss. While the Fund will usually liquidate futures contracts on securities in this manner, the Fund may instead make or take delivery of the underlying securities whenever it appears economically advantageous for the Fund to do so. A clearing corporation associated with the exchange on which futures are traded guarantees that, if still open, the sale or purchase will be performed on the settlement date.

Hedging Strategies Using Futures Contracts. When the Fund uses futures for hedging purposes, the Fund often seeks to establish with more certainty than would otherwise be possible the effective price or rate of return on portfolio securities (or securities that the Fund proposes to acquire) or the exchange rate of currencies in which portfolio securities are quoted or denominated. The Fund may, for example, take a “short” position in the futures market by selling futures contracts to seek to hedge against an anticipated rise in interest rates or a decline in market prices or foreign currency rates that would adversely affect the dollar value of the Fund’s portfolio securities. Such futures contracts may include contracts for the future delivery of securities held by the Fund or securities with characteristics similar to those of the Fund’s portfolio securities. Similarly, the Fund may sell futures contracts on any currency in which its portfolio securities are quoted or denominated or sell futures contracts on one currency to seek to hedge against fluctuations in the value of securities quoted or denominated in a different currency if there is an established historical pattern of correlation between the two currencies. If, in the opinion of the Investment Adviser, there is a sufficient degree of correlation between price trends for the Fund’s portfolio securities and futures contracts based on other financial instruments, securities indices or other indices, the Fund may also enter into such futures contracts as part of a hedging strategy. Although under some circumstances prices of securities in the Fund’s portfolio may be more or less volatile than prices of such futures contracts, the Investment Adviser will attempt to estimate the extent of this volatility difference based on historical patterns and compensate for any such differential by having the Fund enter into a greater or lesser number of futures contracts or by attempting to achieve only a partial hedge against price changes affecting the Fund’s portfolio securities. When hedging of this character is successful, any depreciation in the value of portfolio securities will be substantially offset by appreciation in the value of the futures position. On the other hand, any unanticipated appreciation in the value of the Fund’s portfolio securities would be substantially offset by a decline in the value of the futures position.

On other occasions, the Fund may take a “long” position by purchasing such futures contracts. This may be done, for example, when the Fund anticipates the subsequent purchase of particular securities when it has the necessary cash, but expects the prices or currency exchange rates then available in the applicable market to be less favorable than prices that are currently available.

Options on Futures Contracts. The acquisition of put and call options on futures contracts will give the Fund the right (but not the obligation), for a specified price, to sell or to purchase, respectively, the underlying futures contract at any time during the option period. As the purchaser of an option on a futures contract, the Fund obtains the benefit of the futures position if prices move in a favorable direction but limits its risk of loss in the event of an unfavorable price movement to the loss of the premium and transaction costs.

The writing of a call option on a futures contract generates a premium which may partially offset a decline in the value of the Fund’s assets. By writing a call option, the Fund becomes obligated, in exchange for the premium, to sell a futures contract if the option is exercised, which may have a value higher than the exercise price. The writing of a put option on a futures contract generates a premium, which may partially offset an increase in the price of securities that the Fund intends to purchase. However, the Fund becomes obligated (upon the exercise of the option) to purchase a futures contract if the option is exercised, which may have a value lower than the exercise price. Thus, the loss incurred by the Fund in writing options on futures is potentially unlimited and may exceed the amount of the premium received. The Fund will incur transaction costs in connection with the writing of options on futures.

The holder or writer of an option on a futures contract may terminate its position by selling or purchasing an offsetting option on the same financial instrument. There is no guarantee that such closing transactions can be effected. The Fund’s ability to establish and close out positions on such options will be subject to the development and maintenance of a liquid market.

Other Considerations. The Fund will engage in transactions in futures contracts and related options from transactions only to the extent such transactions are consistent with the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”) for maintaining its qualification as a regulated investment company for federal income tax purposes. Transactions in futures contracts and options on futures involve brokerage costs, require margin deposits and, in certain cases, require the Fund to identify on its books cash or liquid assets in an amount equal to the underlying value of such contracts and options. The Fund may cover its transactions in futures contracts and related options by identifying on its books cash or liquid assets or by other means, in any manner permitted by applicable law. For more information about these practices, see “Description of Investment Securities and Practices – Asset Segregation.”

 

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While transactions in futures contracts and options on futures may reduce certain risks, such transactions themselves entail certain other risks. Thus, unanticipated changes in interest rates or securities prices may result in a poorer overall performance for the Fund than if it had not entered into any futures contracts or options transactions. When futures contracts and options are used for hedging purposes, perfect correlation between the Fund’s futures positions and portfolio positions may be impossible to achieve, particularly where futures contracts based on individual equity or corporate fixed income securities are currently not available. In the event of an imperfect correlation between a futures position and a portfolio position which is intended to be protected, the desired protection may not be obtained and the Fund may be exposed to risk of loss. In addition, it is not possible for the Fund to hedge fully or perfectly against currency fluctuations affecting the value of securities quoted or denominated in foreign currencies because the value of such securities is likely to fluctuate as a result of independent factors unrelated to currency fluctuations. The profitability of the Fund’s trading in futures depends upon the ability of the Investment Adviser to analyze correctly the futures markets. For more information about these practices, see “DESCRIPTION OF INVESTMENT SECURITIES AND PRACTICES—Asset Segregation.”

Illiquid Investments

Pursuant to Rule 22e-4 under the 1940 Act, the Fund may not acquire any “illiquid investment” if, immediately after the acquisition, the Fund would have invested more than 15% of its net assets in illiquid investments that are assets. An “illiquid investment” is any investment that the Fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment. Illiquid investments include repurchase agreements with a notice or demand period of more than seven days, certain over-the-counter derivative instruments, securities and other financial instruments that are not readily marketable, and Restricted Securities unless, based upon a review of the relevant market, trading and investment-specific considerations, those investments are determined not to be illiquid. The Trust has implemented a liquidity risk management program and related procedures to identify illiquid investments pursuant to Rule 22e-4, and the Trustees have approved the designation of the Investment Adviser to administer the Trust’s liquidity risk management program and related procedures. In determining whether an investment is an illiquid investment, the Investment Adviser will take into account actual or estimated daily transaction volume of an investment, group of related investments or asset class and other relevant market, trading, and investment- specific considerations. In addition, in determining the liquidity of an investment, the Investment Adviser must determine whether trading varying portions of a position in a particular portfolio investment or asset class, in sizes that the Fund would reasonably anticipate trading, is reasonably expected to significantly affect its liquidity, and if so, the Fund must take this determination into account when classifying the liquidity of that investment or asset class.

In addition to actual or estimated daily transaction volume of an investment, group of related investments or asset class and other relevant market, trading, and investment-specific considerations, the following factors, among others, will generally impact the classification of an investment as an “illiquid investment”: (i) any investment that is placed on the Investment Adviser’s restricted trading list; and (ii) any investment that is delisted or for which there is a trading halt at the close of the trading day on the primary listing exchange at the time of classification (and in respect of which no active secondary market exists). Investments purchased by the Fund that are liquid at the time of purchase may subsequently become illiquid due to these and other events and circumstances. If one or more investments in the Fund’s portfolio become illiquid, the Fund may exceed the 15% limitation in illiquid investments. In the event that changes in the portfolio or other external events cause the Fund to exceed this limit, the Fund must take steps to bring its illiquid investments that are assets to or below 15% of its net assets within a reasonable period of time. This requirement would not force the Fund to liquidate any portfolio instrument where the Fund would suffer a loss on the sale of that instrument.

Index Swaps, Interest Rate Swaps, Mortgage Swaps, Credit Swaps, Currency Swaps, Total Return Swaps, Equity Swaps, Excess Return Swaps, Options on Swaps and Interest Rate Caps, Floors and Collars

The Fund may enter into index, interest rate, mortgage, credit, currency, total return, equity and excess return swaps for both hedging purposes and to seek to increase total return. As examples, the Fund may enter into swap transactions for the purpose of attempting to obtain or preserve a particular return or spread at a lower cost than obtaining a return or spread through purchases and/or sales of instruments in other market, as a duration management technique, to protect against any increase in the price of securities the Fund anticipates purchasing at a later date, or to gain exposure to certain markets in an economical way. The Fund may also enter into interest rate caps, floors and collars. The Fund may also purchase and write (sell) options contracts on swaps, commonly referred to as swaptions.

 

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In a standard “swap” transaction, two parties agree to exchange the returns, differentials in rates of return or some other amount earned or realized on particular predetermined investments or instruments, which may be adjusted for an interest factor. The gross returns to be exchanged or “swapped” between the parties are generally calculated with respect to a “notional amount,” i.e., the return on or increase in value of a particular dollar amount invested at a particular interest rate, in a particular foreign currency or security, or in a “basket” of securities representing a particular index. Bilateral swap agreements are two party contracts entered into primarily by institutional investors. Cleared swaps are transacted through FCMs that are members of central clearinghouses with the clearinghouse serving as a central counterparty similar to transactions in futures contracts. Funds post initial and variation margin by making payments to their clearing member FCMs.

Currency swaps involve the exchange by the Fund with another party of their respective rights to make or receive payments in specified currencies. Interest rate swaps involve the exchange by the Fund with another party of their respective commitments to pay or receive payments for floating rate payments based on interest rates at specified intervals in the future. Two types of interest rate swaps include “fixed-for-floating rate swaps” and “basis swaps.” Fixed-for-floating rate swaps involve the exchange of payments based on a fixed interest rate for payments based on a floating interest rate index. By contrast, basis swaps involve the exchange of payments based on two different floating interest rate indices. Mortgage swaps are similar to interest rate swaps in that they represent commitments to pay and receive interest. The notional principal amount, however, is tied to a reference pool or pools of mortgages. Index swaps involve the exchange by the Fund with another party of payments based on a notional principal amount of a specified index or indices. Credit swaps (also referred to as credit default swaps) involve the exchange of a floating or fixed rate payment in return for assuming potential credit losses of an underlying security, or pool of securities. Total return swaps are contracts that obligate a party to pay or receive interest in exchange for the payment by the other party of the total return generated by a security, a basket of securities, an index or an index component. Equity swap contracts may be structured in different ways. For example, as a total return swap where a counterparty may agree to pay the Fund the amount, if any, by which the notional amount of the equity swap contract would have increased in value had it been invested in the particular stocks (or group of stocks), plus the dividends that would have been received on those stocks. In other cases, the counterparty and the Fund may each agree to pay the difference between the relative investment performances that would have been achieved if the notional amount of the equity swap contract had been invested in different stocks (or a group of stocks). Excess return swaps are contracts that obligate a party to pay interest in exchange for payment by the other party of the return generated by a security, a basket of securities, an index, or an index component in excess of a pre-determined risk-free rate of return.

A swaption is an option to enter into a swap agreement. Like other types of options, the buyer of a swaption pays a non-refundable premium for the option and obtains the right, but not the obligation, to enter into or modify an underlying swap or to modify the terms of an existing swap on agreed-upon terms. The seller of a swaption, in exchange for the premium, becomes obligated (if the option is exercised) to enter into or modify an underlying swap on agreed-upon terms, which generally entails a greater risk of loss than incurred in buying a swaption. The purchase of an interest rate cap entitles the purchaser, to the extent that a specified index exceeds a predetermined interest rate, to receive payment of interest on a notional principal amount from the party selling such interest rate cap. The purchase of an interest rate floor entitles the purchaser, to the extent that a specified index falls below a predetermined interest rate, to receive payments of interest on a notional principal amount from the party selling the interest rate floor. An interest rate collar is the combination of a cap and a floor that preserves a certain return within a predetermined range of interest rates. Since interest rate, mortgage and currency swaps and interest rate caps, floors and collars are individually negotiated, the Fund expects to achieve an acceptable degree of correlation between its portfolio investments and its swap, cap, floor and collar positions.

A great deal of flexibility may be possible in the way swap transactions are structured. However, generally the Fund will enter into interest rate, total return, credit, mortgage, equity and index swaps on a net basis, which means that the two payment streams are netted out, with the Fund receiving or paying, as the case may be, only the net amount of the two payments. Interest rate, total return, credit, mortgage, equity and index swaps do not normally involve the delivery of securities, other underlying assets or principal. Accordingly, the risk of loss with respect to interest rate, total return, credit, mortgage, equity and index swaps is normally limited to the net amount of interest payments that the Fund is contractually obligated to make. If the other party to an interest rate, total return, credit, index, equity or mortgage swap defaults, the Fund’s risk of loss consists of the net amount of interest payments that the Fund is contractually entitled to receive, if any. In contrast, currency swaps usually involve the delivery of a gross payment stream in one designated currency in exchange for the gross payment stream in another designated currency. Therefore, the entire payment stream under a currency swap is subject to the risk that the other party to the swap will default on its contractual delivery obligations.

A credit swap may have as reference obligations one or more securities that may, or may not, be currently held by the Fund. The protection “buyer” in a credit swap is generally obligated to pay the protection “seller” an upfront or a periodic stream of payments over the term of the swap provided that no credit event, such as a default, on a reference obligation has occurred. If a credit event occurs, the seller generally must pay the buyer the “par value” (full notional value) of the swap in exchange for an equal face amount of deliverable obligations of the reference entity described in the swap, or the seller may be required to deliver the related net cash amount, if the swap is cash settled. The Fund may be either the protection buyer or seller in the transaction. If the Fund is a buyer and no credit event occurs, the Fund may recover nothing if the swap is held through its termination date. However, if a credit event occurs, the buyer generally

 

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may elect to receive the full notional value of the swap in exchange for an equal face amount of deliverable obligations of the reference entity whose value may have significantly decreased. As a seller, the Fund generally receives an upfront payment or a rate of income throughout the term of the swap provided that there is no credit event. As the seller, the Fund would effectively add leverage to its portfolio because, in addition to its total net assets, the Fund would be subject to investment exposure on the notional amount of the swap. If a credit event occurs, the value of any deliverable obligation received by the Fund as seller, coupled with the upfront or periodic payments previously received, may be less than the full notional value it pays to the buyer, resulting in a loss of value to the Fund.

As a result of recent regulatory developments, certain standardized swaps are currently subject to mandatory central clearing and some of these swaps must be traded on an exchange or swap execution facility (“SEF”). A SEF is a trading platform in which multiple market participants can execute swap transactions by accepting bids and offers made by multiple other participants on the platform. Transactions executed on a SEF may increase market transparency and liquidity but may cause the Fund to incur increased expenses to execute swaps. Central clearing should decrease counterparty risk and increase liquidity compared to bilateral swaps because central clearing interposes the central clearinghouse as the counterparty to each participant’s swap. However, central clearing does not eliminate counterparty risk or liquidity risk entirely. In addition, depending on the size of the Fund and other factors, the margin required under the rules of a clearinghouse and by a clearing member may be in excess of the collateral required to be posted by the Fund to support its obligations under a similar bilateral swap. However, the CFTC and other applicable regulators have adopted rules imposing certain margin requirements, including minimums, on uncleared swaps which may result in the Fund and its counterparties posting higher margin amounts for uncleared swaps. Requiring margin on uncleared swaps may reduce, but not eliminate, counterparty credit risk.

To the extent that the Fund’s exposure in a transaction involving a swap, a swaption or an interest rate floor, cap or collar is covered by identifying cash or liquid assets on the Fund’s books or is covered by other means in accordance with SEC- or SEC staff- approved guidance or other appropriate measures, the Fund and the Investment Adviser believe that the transactions do not constitute senior securities under the Act and, accordingly, will not treat them as being subject to the Fund’s borrowing restrictions. For more information about these practices, see “DESCRIPTION OF INVESTMENT SECURITIES AND PRACTICES—Asset Segregation.”

The Fund will not enter into any bilateral transactions involving total return, interest rate, mortgage or credit swap transactions unless the unsecured commercial paper, senior debt or claims-paying ability of the other party is rated either A or A-1 or better by Standard & Poor’s or A or P-1 or better by Moody’s or their equivalent ratings. The Fund will invest in currency swap transactions only if the unsecured commercial paper, senior debt or claims-paying ability of the other party thereto is rated investment grade by Standard & Poor’s or Moody’s or their equivalent ratings or, if unrated by such rating agencies, determined to be of comparable quality by the applicable investment adviser. If there is a default by the other party to such a transaction, the Fund will have contractual remedies pursuant to the agreements related to the transaction.

The use of swaps, swaptions and interest rate caps, floors and collars is a highly specialized activity which involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. The use of a swap requires an understanding not only of the referenced asset, reference rate, or index but also of the swap itself, without the benefit of observing the performance of the swap under all possible market conditions. If the Investment Adviser is incorrect in its forecasts of market values, credit quality, interest rates and currency exchange rates, the investment performance of the Fund would be less favorable than it would have been if this investment technique were not used.

In addition, these transactions can involve greater risks than if the Fund had invested in the reference obligation directly because, in addition to general market risks, swaps may be subject to liquidity risk, counterparty risk, credit risk and pricing risk. Regulators also may impose limits on an entity’s or group of entities’ positions in certain swaps. However, certain risks are reduced (but not eliminated) if the Fund invests in cleared swaps. Bilateral swap agreements are two party contracts that may have terms of greater than seven days. Moreover, the Fund bears the risk of loss of the amount expected to be received under a swap agreement in the event of the default or bankruptcy of a swap counterparty (with respect to bilateral swap transactions). Many swaps are complex and often valued subjectively. Swaps and other derivatives may also be subject to pricing or “basis” risk, which exists when the price of a particular derivative diverges from the price of corresponding cash market instruments. Under certain market conditions it may not be economically feasible to imitate a transaction or liquidate a position in time to avoid a loss or take advantage of an opportunity. If a swap transaction is particularly large or if the relevant market is illiquid, it may not be possible to initiate a transaction or liquidate a position at an advantageous time or price, which may result in significant losses.

Certain rules also require centralized reporting of detailed information about many types of cleared and uncleared swaps. This information is available to regulators and, to a more limited extent and on an anonymous basis, to the public. Reporting of swap data may result in greater market transparency, which may be beneficial to funds that use swaps to implement trading strategies. However, these rules place potential additional administrative obligations on these funds, and the safeguards established to protect anonymity may not function as expected.

 

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The swap market has grown substantially in recent years with a large number of banks and investment banking firms acting both as principals and as agents utilizing standardized swap documentation. As a result, the swap market has become relatively liquid in comparison with the markets for other similar instruments which are traded in the interbank market. These and other factors discussed in the section above, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in swaps.

Investment in Unseasoned Companies

The Fund may invest in companies (including predecessors) which have operated less than three years. The securities of such companies may have limited liquidity, which can result in their being priced higher or lower than might otherwise be the case. In addition, investments in unseasoned companies are more speculative and entail greater risk than do investments in companies with an established operating record.

Loans and Loan Participations

The Fund may invest in loans and loan participations. A loan participation is an interest in a loan to a U.S. or foreign company or other borrower which is administered and sold by a financial intermediary. In a typical corporate loan syndication, a number of lenders, usually banks (co-lenders), lend a corporate borrower a specified sum pursuant to the terms and conditions of a loan agreement. One of the co-lenders usually agrees to act as the agent bank with respect to the loan.

Participation interests acquired by the Fund may take the form of a direct or co-lending relationship with the corporate borrower, an assignment of an interest in the loan by a co-lender or another participant, or a participation in the seller’s share of the loan. The participation by the Fund in a lender’s portion of a loan typically will result in the Fund having a contractual relationship only with such lender, not with the business entity borrowing the funds (the “Borrower”). As a result, the Fund may have the right to receive payments of principal, interest and any fees to which it is entitled only from the lender selling the participation and only upon receipt by such lender of payments from the Borrower. Such indebtedness may be secured or unsecured. Under the terms of the loan participation, the Fund may be regarded as a creditor of the agent bank (rather than of the underlying corporate borrower), so that the Fund may also be subject to the risk that the agent bank may become insolvent. Loan participations typically represent direct participations in a loan to a Borrower, and generally are offered by banks or other financial institutions or lending syndicates. The Fund may participate in such syndicates, or can buy part of a loan, becoming a part lender. The participation interests in which the Fund may invest may not be rated by any NRSRO. The secondary market, if any, for loan participations may be limited.

When the Fund acts as co-lender in connection with a participation interest or when such Fund acquires certain participation interests, that Fund may have direct recourse against the borrower if the borrower fails to pay scheduled principal and interest. In cases where the Fund lacks direct recourse, it will look to the agent bank to enforce appropriate credit remedies against the borrower. In these cases, the Fund may be subject to delays, expenses and risks that are greater than those that would have been involved if the Fund had purchased a direct obligation (such as commercial paper) of such borrower. For example, in the event of the bankruptcy or insolvency of the corporate borrower, a loan participation may be subject to certain defenses by the borrower as a result of improper conduct by the agent bank.

For purposes of certain investment limitations pertaining to diversification of the Fund’s portfolio investments, the issuer of a loan participation will be the underlying borrower. However, in cases where the Fund does not have recourse directly against the borrower, both the borrower and each agent bank and co-lender interposed between the Fund and the borrower will be deemed issuers of a loan participation.

Senior Loans. The Fund may invest in Senior Loans. Senior Loans hold the most senior position in the capital structure of a business entity (the “Borrower”), are typically secured with specific collateral and have a claim on the assets and/or stock of the Borrower that is senior to that held by subordinated debt holders and stockholders of the Borrower. The proceeds of Senior Loans primarily are used to finance leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, mergers, acquisitions, stock repurchases, refinancings and to finance internal growth and for other corporate purposes. Senior Loans typically have rates of interest which are redetermined daily, monthly, quarterly or semi- annually by reference to a base lending rate, plus a premium or credit spread. These base lending rates are primarily the LIBOR and secondarily the prime rate offered by one or more major U.S. banks and the certificate of deposit rate or other base lending rates used by commercial lenders.

 

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Senior Loans typically have a stated term of between five and nine years, and have rates of interest which typically are redetermined daily, monthly, quarterly or semi-annually. Longer interest rate reset periods would generally increase fluctuations in the Fund’s NAV as a result of changes in market interest rates. The Fund is not subject to any restrictions with respect to the maturity of Senior Loans held in its portfolio. As a result, as short-term interest rates increase, interest payable to the Fund from its investments in Senior Loans should increase, and as short-term interest rates decrease, interest payable to the Fund from its investments in Senior Loans should decrease. Because of prepayments, the Investment Adviser expects the average lives of the Senior Loans in which each of the Fund invest to be shorter than the stated maturity.

Senior Loans are subject to the risk of non-payment of scheduled interest or principal. Such non-payment would result in a reduction of income to the Fund, a reduction in the value of the investment and a potential decrease in the Fund’s NAV. There can be no assurance that the liquidation of any collateral securing a Senior Loan would satisfy the Borrower’s obligation in the event of non-payment of scheduled interest or principal payments, or that such collateral could be readily liquidated. In the event of bankruptcy of a Borrower, the Fund could experience delays or limitations with respect to their ability to realize the benefits of the collateral securing a Senior Loan. The collateral securing a Senior Loan may lose all or substantially all of its value in the event of the bankruptcy of a Borrower. Some Senior Loans are subject to the risk that a court, pursuant to fraudulent conveyance or other similar laws, could subordinate such Senior Loans to presently existing or future indebtedness of the Borrower or take other action detrimental to the holders of Senior Loans including, in certain circumstances, invalidating such Senior Loans or causing interest previously paid to be refunded to the Borrower. If interest were required to be refunded, it could negatively affect the Fund’s performance.

Many Senior Loans in which the Fund may invest may not be rated by a rating agency, will not be registered with the SEC or any state securities commission, and will not be listed on any national securities exchange. The amount of public information available with respect to Senior Loans will generally be less extensive than that available for registered or exchange-listed securities. In evaluating the creditworthiness of Borrowers, the Investment Adviser will consider, and may rely in part, on analyses performed by others. Borrowers may have outstanding debt obligations that are rated below investment grade by a rating agency. Many of the Senior Loans in which the Fund may invest will have been assigned below investment grade ratings by independent rating agencies. In the event Senior Loans are not rated, they are likely to be the equivalent of below investment grade quality. Because of the protective features of Senior Loans, the Investment Adviser believes that Senior Loans tend to have more favorable loss recovery rates as compared to more junior types of below investment grade debt obligations. The Investment Adviser does not view ratings as the determinative factor in its investment decisions and rely more upon their credit analysis abilities than upon ratings. Investors in loans, such as the Fund, may not be entitled to rely on the anti-fraud protections of the federal securities laws, although they may be entitled to certain contractual remedies.

No active trading market may exist for some Senior Loans, and some loans may be subject to restrictions on resale. A secondary market may be subject to irregular trading activity, wide bid/ask spreads and extended trade settlement periods, which may impair the ability to realize full value and thus cause a material decline in the NAV of the Fund. Because transactions in many Senior Loans are subject to extended trade settlement periods, the Fund may not receive the proceeds from the sale of Senior Loans for a period after the sale of the Senior Loans. In addition, the Fund may not be able to readily dispose of its Senior Loans at prices that approximate those at which the Fund could sell such loans if they were more widely-traded and, as a result of the relative illiquidity of the trading markets for Senior Loans, the Fund may have to sell other investments or engage in borrowing transactions, such as borrowing from its credit facility, if necessary to raise cash to meet its obligations, including redemption obligations. During periods of limited supply and liquidity of Senior Loans, the Fund’s yield may be lower.

When interest rates decline, the value of the Fund invested in fixed rate obligations can be expected to rise. Conversely, when interest rates rise, the value of the Fund invested in fixed rate obligations can be expected to decline. Although changes in prevailing interest rates can be expected to cause some fluctuations in the value of Senior Loans (due to the fact that floating rates on Senior Loans only reset periodically), the value of Senior Loans is substantially less sensitive to changes in market interest rates than fixed rate instruments. As a result, to the extent the Fund invests in floating-rate Senior Loans, the Fund’s portfolio may be less volatile and less sensitive to changes in market interest rates than if the Fund invested in fixed rate obligations. Similarly, a sudden and significant increase in market interest rates may cause a decline in the value of these investments and in the Fund’s NAV. Other factors (including, but not limited to, rating downgrades, credit deterioration, a large downward movement in stock prices, a disparity in supply and demand of certain securities or market conditions that reduce liquidity) can reduce the value of Senior Loans and other debt obligations, impairing the NAV of the Fund.

The Fund may purchase and retain in its portfolio a Senior Loan where the Borrower has experienced, or may be perceived to be likely to experience, credit problems, including involvement in or recent emergence from bankruptcy reorganization proceedings or other forms of debt restructuring. Such investments may provide opportunities for enhanced income as well as capital appreciation, although they also will be subject to greater risk of loss. At times, in connection with the restructuring of a Senior Loan either outside of bankruptcy court or in the context of bankruptcy court proceedings, the Fund may determine or be required to accept equity securities or junior credit securities in exchange for all or a portion of a Senior Loan.

 

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The Fund may also purchase Senior Loans on a direct assignment basis. If the Fund purchases a Senior Loan on direct assignment, it typically succeeds to all the rights and obligations under the loan agreement of the assigning lender and becomes a lender under the loan agreement with the same rights and obligations as the assigning lender. Investments in Senior Loans on a direct assignment basis may involve additional risks to the Fund. For example, if such loan is foreclosed, the Fund could become part owner of any collateral, and would bear the costs and liabilities associated with owning and disposing of the collateral.

Loans and other types of direct indebtedness may not be readily marketable and may be subject to restrictions on resale. In some cases, negotiations involved in disposing of indebtedness may require weeks to complete. Consequently, some indebtedness may be difficult or impossible to dispose of readily at what the Investment Adviser believes to be a fair price. In addition, valuation of less readily marketable indebtedness involves a greater degree of judgment in determining the NAV of the Fund than if that valuation were based on available market quotations, and could result in significant variations in the Fund’s daily share price. At the same time, some loan interests are regularly traded among certain financial institutions. As the market for different types of indebtedness develops, the liquidity of the market for these instruments is expected to improve. The Fund currently intends to treat loan indebtedness as liquid when there is a readily available market for the investment. To the extent a readily available market ceases to exist for a particular investment, such investment may be illiquid for purposes of the Fund’s limitations on illiquid investments. Investments in loans and loan participations are considered to be debt obligations for purposes of the Fund’s investment restriction relating to the lending of funds or assets by the Fund.

These and other factors discussed in the section above, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in loans and loan participations.

Second Lien Loans. The Fund may invest in Second Lien Loans, which have the same characteristics as Senior Loans except that such loans are second in lien property rather than first. Second Lien Loans typically have adjustable floating rate interest payments. Accordingly, the risks associated with Second Lien Loans are higher than the risk of loans with first priority over the collateral. In the event of default on a Second Lien Loan, the first priority lien holder has first claim to the underlying collateral of the loan. It is possible that no collateral value would remain for the second priority lien holder and therefore result in a loss of investment to the Fund.

This risk is generally higher for subordinated unsecured loans or debt, which are not backed by a security interest in any specific collateral. Second Lien Loans generally have greater price volatility than Senior Loans and may be less liquid. There is also a possibility that originators will not be able to sell participations in Second Lien Loans, which would create greater credit risk exposure for the holders of such loans. Second Lien Loans share the same risks as other below investment grade securities.

Master Limited Partnerships

The Fund may invest in Master Limited Partnerships (“MLPs”). An MLP is an entity receiving partnership taxation treatment under the Code, and whose interests or “units” are traded on securities exchanges like shares of corporate stock. A typical MLP consists of a general partner and limited partners; however, some entities receiving partnership taxation treatment under the Code are established as limited liability companies. The general partner manages the partnership; has an ownership stake in the partnership; and is typically eligible to receive an incentive distribution. The limited partners provide capital to the partnership, have a limited (if any) role in the operation and management of the partnership, and receive cash distributions. Due to their partnership structure, MLPs generally do not pay income taxes.

Holders of MLP units could potentially become subject to liability for all of the obligations of an MLP, if a court determines that the rights of the unitholders to take certain action under the limited partnership agreement would constitute “control” of the business of that MLP, or if a court or governmental agency determines that the MLP is conducting business in a state without complying with the limited partnership statute of that state.

To be treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes, an MLP must derive at least 90% of its gross income for each taxable year from qualifying sources, including activities such as the exploration, development, mining, production, processing, refining, transportation, storage and certain marketing of mineral or natural resources. Many of the MLPs in which the Fund invests operate oil, gas or petroleum facilities, or other facilities within the energy sector. The Fund intends to concentrate its investments in the energy sector, with a focus on “midstream” energy infrastructure MLPs. The Fund may, however, invest in MLP entities in any sector of the economy.

 

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Midstream MLPs are generally engaged in the treatment, gathering, compression, processing, transportation, transmission, fractionation, storage and terminalling of natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil, refined products or coal. Midstream MLPs may also operate ancillary businesses including marketing of energy products and logistical services. The Fund may also invest in “upstream” and “downstream” MLPs. Upstream MLPs are primarily engaged in the exploration, recovery, development and production of crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids. Downstream MLPs are primarily engaged in the processing, treatment, and refining of natural gas liquids and crude oil. The MLPs in which the Fund invests may also engage in owning, managing and transporting alternative energy assets, including alternative fuels such as ethanol, hydrogen and biodiesel.

MLP Equity Securities. Equity securities issued by MLPs generally consist of common units, subordinated units and preferred units, as described more fully below.

MLP Common Units. The common units of many MLPs are listed and traded on U.S. securities exchanges, including the New York Stock Exchange, Inc. (“NYSE”) and the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations System (“NASDAQ”). The Fund will purchase such common units through open market transactions and underwritten offerings, but may also acquire common units through direct placements and privately negotiated transactions. Holders of MLP common units typically have very limited control and voting rights. Holders of such common units are typically entitled to receive a minimum quarterly distribution (“MQD”) from the issuer, and typically have a right, to the extent that an MLP fails to make a previous MQD, to recover in future distributions the amount by which the MQD was short (“arrearage rights”). Generally, an MLP must pay (or set aside for payment) the MQD to holders of common units before any distributions may be paid to subordinated unit holders. In addition, incentive distributions are typically not paid to the general partner or managing member unless the quarterly distributions on the common units exceed specified threshold levels above the MQD. In the event of a liquidation, common unit holders are intended to have a preference with respect to the remaining assets of the issuer over holders of subordinated units. MLPs issue different classes of common units that may have different voting, trading, and distribution rights. The Fund may invest in different classes of common units.

MLP Subordinated Units. Subordinated units, which, like common units, represent limited partner or member interests, are not typically listed or traded on an exchange. The Fund may purchase outstanding subordinated units through negotiated transactions directly with holders of such units or newly issued subordinated units directly from the issuer. Holders of such subordinated units are generally entitled to receive a distribution only after the MQD and any arrearages from prior quarters have been paid to holders of common units. Holders of subordinated units typically have the right to receive distributions before any incentive distributions are payable to the general partner or managing member. Subordinated units generally do not provide arrearage rights. Most MLP subordinated units are convertible into common units after the passage of a specified period of time or upon the achievement by the issuer of specified financial goals. MLPs issue different classes of subordinated units that may have different voting, trading, and distribution rights. The Fund may invest in different classes of subordinated units.

MLP Convertible Subordinated Units. MLP convertible subordinated units are typically issued by MLPs to founders, corporate general partners of MLPs, entities that sell assets to MLPs, and institutional investors. Convertible subordinated units increase the likelihood that, during the subordination period, there will be available cash to be distributed to common unitholders. MLP convertible subordinated units generally are not entitled to distributions until holders of common units have received their specified MQD, plus any arrearages, and may receive less than common unitholders in distributions upon liquidation. Convertible subordinated unitholders generally are entitled to MQD prior to the payment of incentive distributions to the general partner, but are not entitled to arrearage rights. Therefore, MLP convertible subordinated units generally entail greater risk than MLP common units. Convertible subordinated units are generally convertible automatically into senior common units of the same issuer at a one-to-one ratio upon the passage of time or the satisfaction of certain financial tests. Convertible subordinated units do not trade on a national exchange or over-the-counter (“OTC”), and there is no active market for them. The value of a convertible subordinated unit is a function of its worth if converted into the underlying common units. Convertible subordinated units generally have similar voting rights as do MLP common units. Distributions may be paid in cash or in-kind.

MLP Preferred Units. MLP preferred units are not typically listed or traded on an exchange. The Fund may purchase MLP preferred units through negotiated transactions directly with MLPs, affiliates of MLPs and institutional holders of such units. Holders of MLP preferred units can be entitled to a wide range of voting and other rights, depending on the structure of each separate security.

MLP General Partner or Managing Member Interests. The general partner or managing member interest in an MLP is typically retained by the original sponsors of an MLP, such as its founders, corporate partners and entities that sell assets to the MLP. The holder of the general partner or managing member interest can be liable in certain circumstances for amounts greater than the amount of the holder’s investment in the general partner or managing member. General partner or managing member interests often confer direct board

 

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participation rights in, and in many cases control over the operations of, the MLP. General partner or managing member interests can be privately held or owned by publicly traded entities. General partner or managing member interests receive cash distributions, typically in an amount of up to 2% of available cash, which is contractually defined in the partnership or limited liability company agreement. In addition, holders of general partner or managing member interests typically receive incentive distribution rights (“IDRs”), which provide them with an increasing share of the entity’s aggregate cash distributions upon the payment of per common unit distributions that exceed specified threshold levels above the MQD. Incentive distributions to a general partner are designed to encourage the general partner, which controls and operates the partnership, to maximize the partnership’s cash flow and increase distributions to the limited partners. Due to the IDRs, general partners of MLPs have higher distribution growth prospects than their underlying MLPs, but quarterly incentive distribution payments would also decline at a greater rate than the decline rate in quarterly distributions to common and subordinated unit holders in the event of a reduction in the MLP’s quarterly distribution. The ability of the limited partners or members to remove the general partner or managing member without cause is typically very limited. In addition, some MLPs permit the holder of IDRs to reset, under specified circumstances, the incentive distribution levels and receive compensation in exchange for the distribution rights given up in the reset.

MLP Debt Securities. Debt securities issued by MLPs may include those rated below investment grade. The Fund may invest in MLP debt securities without regard to credit quality or maturity. Investments in such securities may not offer the tax characteristics of equity securities of MLPs.

Limited Liability Company Common Units. Some energy companies in which the Fund may invest have been organized as limited liability companies (“MLP LLCs”). Such MLP LLCs are treated in the same manner as MLPs for federal income tax purposes. Consistent with its investment objective and policies, the Fund may invest in common units or other securities of such MLP LLCs. MLP LLC common units represent an equity ownership interest in an MLP LLC, entitling the holders to a share of the MLP LLC’s success through distributions and/or capital appreciation. Similar to MLPs, MLP LLCs typically do not pay federal income tax at the entity level and are required by their operating agreements to distribute a large percentage of their current operating earnings. MLP LLC common unitholders generally have first right to an MQD prior to distributions to subordinated unitholders and typically have arrearage rights if the MQD is not met. In the event of liquidation, MLP LLC common unitholders have first right to the MLP LLC’s remaining assets after bondholders, other debt holders and preferred unitholders, if any, have been paid in full. MLP LLC common units trade on a national securities exchange or OTC. In contrast to MLPs, MLP LLCs have no general partner and there are generally no incentives that entitle management or other unitholders to increased percentages of cash distributions as distributions reach higher target levels. In addition, MLP LLC common unitholders typically have voting rights with respect to the MLP LLC, whereas MLP common units have limited voting rights.

MLP Affiliates and I-Units

Other MLP Equity and Debt Securities. The Fund may invest in equity and debt securities issued by affiliates of MLPs, including the general partners or managing members of MLPs and companies that own MLP general partner interests and are energy companies. Such issuers may be organized and/or taxed as corporations and therefore may not offer the advantageous tax characteristics of MLP units. The Fund may purchase such other MLP equity securities through market transactions, but may also do so through direct placements.

I-Units. I-Units represent an indirect ownership interest in an MLP and are issued by an MLP affiliate. The MLP affiliate uses the proceeds from the sale of I-Units to purchase limited partnership interests in its affiliated MLP. Thus, I-Units represent an indirect interest in an MLP. I-Units have limited voting rights and are similar in that respect to MLP common units. I-Units differ from MLP common units primarily in that instead of receiving cash distributions, holders of I-Units will receive distributions of additional I-Units in an amount equal to the cash distributions received by common unit holders. I-Units are traded on the NYSE. Issuers of MLP I-Units are treated as corporations and not partnerships for tax purposes.

Mortgage Dollar Rolls

The Fund may enter into mortgage dollar rolls, in which the Fund sells securities for delivery in the current month and simultaneously contracts with the same counterparty to repurchase similar, but not identical securities on a specified future date. During the roll period, the Fund loses the right to receive principal and interest paid on the securities sold. However, the Fund would benefit to the extent of any difference between the price received for the securities sold and the lower forward price for the future purchase or fee income plus the interest earned on the cash proceeds of the securities sold until the settlement date of the forward purchase. All cash proceeds will be invested in instruments that are permissible investments for the Fund. The Fund will, until the settlement date, identify cash or liquid assets on its books, as permitted by applicable law, in an amount equal to its forward purchase price.

 

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For financial reporting and tax purposes, the Fund treats mortgage dollar rolls as two separate transactions; one involving the purchase of a security and a separate transaction involving a sale. The Fund does not currently intend to enter into mortgage dollar rolls for financing and does not treat them as borrowings.

Mortgage dollar rolls involve certain risks including the following: if the broker-dealer to whom the Fund sells the security becomes insolvent, the Fund’s right to purchase or repurchase the mortgage-related securities subject to the mortgage dollar roll may be restricted. Also, the instrument which the Fund is required to repurchase may be worth less than an instrument which the Fund originally held. Successful use of mortgage dollar rolls will depend upon the Investment Adviser’s ability to manage the Fund’s interest rate and mortgage prepayments exposure. For these reasons, there is no assurance that mortgage dollar rolls can be successfully employed. The use of this technique may diminish the investment performance of the Fund compared with what such performance would have been without the use of mortgage dollar rolls.

Mortgage Loans and Mortgage-Backed Securities

The Fund may invest in mortgage loans and mortgage pass-through securities and other securities representing an interest in or collateralized by adjustable and fixed rate mortgage loans (“Mortgage-Backed Securities”).

Mortgage-Backed Securities are subject to both call risk and extension risk. Because of these risks, these securities can have significantly greater price and yield volatility than traditional fixed income securities.

General Characteristics of Mortgage Backed Securities.

In general, each mortgage pool underlying Mortgage-Backed Securities consists of mortgage loans evidenced by promissory notes secured by first mortgages or first deeds of trust or other similar security instruments creating a first lien on owner occupied and non- owner occupied one-unit to four-unit residential properties, multi-family (i.e., five-units or more) properties, agricultural properties, commercial properties and mixed use properties (the “Mortgaged Properties”). The Mortgaged Properties may consist of detached individual dwelling units, multi-family dwelling units, individual condominiums, townhouses, duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, row houses, individual units in planned unit developments, other attached dwelling units (“Residential Mortgaged Properties”) or commercial properties, such as office properties, retail properties, hospitality properties, industrial properties, healthcare related properties or other types of income producing real property (“Commercial Mortgaged Properties”). Residential Mortgaged Properties may also include residential investment properties and second homes. In addition, the Mortgage-Backed Securities which are residential mortgage-backed securities may also consist of mortgage loans evidenced by promissory notes secured entirely or in part by second priority mortgage liens on Residential Mortgaged Properties.

The investment characteristics of adjustable and fixed rate Mortgage-Backed Securities differ from those of traditional fixed income securities. The major differences include the payment of interest and principal on Mortgage-Backed Securities on a more frequent (usually monthly) schedule, and the possibility that principal may be prepaid at any time due to prepayments on the underlying mortgage loans or other assets. These differences can result in significantly greater price and yield volatility than is the case with traditional fixed income securities. As a result, if the Fund purchases Mortgage-Backed Securities at a premium, a faster than expected prepayment rate will reduce both the market value and the yield to maturity from their anticipated levels. A prepayment rate that is slower than expected will have the opposite effect, increasing yield to maturity and market value. Conversely, if the Fund purchases Mortgage-Backed Securities at a discount, faster than expected prepayments will increase, while slower than expected prepayments will reduce yield to maturity and market value. To the extent that the Fund invests in Mortgage-Backed Securities, its investment adviser may seek to manage these potential risks by investing in a variety of Mortgage-Backed Securities and by using certain hedging techniques.

Prepayments on a pool of mortgage loans are influenced by changes in current interest rates and a variety of economic, geographic, social and other factors (such as changes in mortgagor housing needs, job transfers, unemployment, mortgagor equity in the mortgage properties and servicing decisions). The timing and level of prepayments cannot be predicted. A predominant factor affecting the prepayment rate on a pool of mortgage loans is the difference between the interest rates on outstanding mortgage loans and prevailing mortgage loan interest rates (giving consideration to the cost of any refinancing). Generally, prepayments on mortgage loans will increase during a period of falling mortgage interest rates and decrease during a period of rising mortgage interest rates. Accordingly, the amounts of prepayments available for reinvestment by the Fund are likely to be greater during a period of declining mortgage interest rates. If general interest rates decline, such prepayments are likely to be reinvested at lower interest rates than the Fund was earning on the Mortgage-Backed Securities that were prepaid. Due to these factors, Mortgage-Backed Securities may be less effective than U.S. Treasury and other types of debt securities of similar maturity at maintaining yields during periods of declining interest rates. Because the Fund’s investments in Mortgage-Backed Securities are interest-rate sensitive, the Fund’s performance will depend in part upon the ability of the Fund to anticipate and respond to fluctuations in market interest rates and to utilize appropriate strategies to maximize returns to the Fund, while attempting to minimize the associated risks to its investment capital. Prepayments may have a disproportionate effect on certain Mortgage-Backed Securities and other multiple class pass-through securities, which are discussed below.

 

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The rate of interest paid on Mortgage-Backed Securities is normally lower than the rate of interest paid on the mortgages included in the underlying pool due to (among other things) the fees paid to any servicer, special servicer and trustee for the trust fund which holds the mortgage pool, other costs and expenses of such trust fund, fees paid to any guarantor, such as Ginnie Mae (as defined below) or to any credit enhancers, mortgage pool insurers, bond insurers and/or hedge providers, and due to any yield retained by the issuer. Actual yield to the holder may vary from the coupon rate, even if adjustable, if the Mortgage-Backed Securities are purchased or traded in the secondary market at a premium or discount. In addition, there is normally some delay between the time the issuer receives mortgage payments from the servicer and the time the issuer (or the trustee of the trust fund which holds the mortgage pool) makes the payments on the Mortgage-Backed Securities, and this delay reduces the effective yield to the holder of such securities.

The issuers of certain mortgage-backed obligations may elect to have the pool of mortgage loans (or indirect interests in mortgage loans) underlying the securities treated as a Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit (“REMIC”), which is subject to special federal income tax rules. A description of the types of mortgage loans and mortgage-backed securities in which the Fund may invest is provided below. The descriptions are general and summary in nature, and do not detail every possible variation of the types of securities that are permissible investments for the Fund.

Certain General Characteristics of Mortgage Loans

Adjustable Rate Mortgage Loans (“ARMs”). The Fund may invest in ARMs. ARMs generally provide for a fixed initial mortgage interest rate for a specified period of time. Thereafter, the interest rates (the “Mortgage Interest Rates”) may be subject to periodic adjustment based on changes in the applicable index rate (the “Index Rate”). The adjusted rate would be equal to the Index Rate plus a fixed percentage spread over the Index Rate established for each ARM at the time of its origination. ARMs allow the Fund to participate in increases in interest rates through periodic increases in the securities coupon rates. During periods of declining interest rates, coupon rates may readjust downward resulting in lower yields to the Fund.

Adjustable interest rates can cause payment increases that some mortgagors may find difficult to make. However, certain ARMs may provide that the Mortgage Interest Rate may not be adjusted to a rate above an applicable lifetime maximum rate or below an applicable lifetime minimum rate for such ARM. Certain ARMs may also be subject to limitations on the maximum amount by which the Mortgage Interest Rate may adjust for any single adjustment period (the “Maximum Adjustment”). Other ARMs (“Negatively Amortizing ARMs”) may provide instead or as well for limitations on changes in the monthly payment on such ARMs. Limitations on monthly payments can result in monthly payments which are greater or less than the amount necessary to amortize a Negatively Amortizing ARM by its maturity at the Mortgage Interest Rate in effect in any particular month. In the event that a monthly payment is not sufficient to pay the interest accruing on a Negatively Amortizing ARM, any such excess interest is added to the principal balance of the loan, causing negative amortization, and will be repaid through future monthly payments. It may take borrowers under Negatively Amortizing ARMs longer periods of time to build up equity and may increase the likelihood of default by such borrowers. In the event that a monthly payment exceeds the sum of the interest accrued at the applicable Mortgage Interest Rate and the principal payment which would have been necessary to amortize the outstanding principal balance over the remaining term of the loan, the excess (or “accelerated amortization”) further reduces the principal balance of the ARM. Negatively Amortizing ARMs do not provide for the extension of their original maturity to accommodate changes in their Mortgage Interest Rate. As a result, unless there is a periodic recalculation of the payment amount (which there generally is), the final payment may be substantially larger than the other payments. After the expiration of the initial fixed rate period and upon the periodic recalculation of the payment to cause timely amortization of the related mortgage loan, the monthly payment on such mortgage loan may increase substantially which may, in turn, increase the risk of the borrower defaulting in respect of such mortgage loan. These limitations on periodic increases in interest rates and on changes in monthly payments protect borrowers from unlimited interest rate and payment increases, but may result in increased credit exposure and prepayment risks for lenders. When interest due on a mortgage loan is added to the principal balance of such mortgage loan, the related mortgaged property provides proportionately less security for the repayment of such mortgage loan. Therefore, if the related borrower defaults on such mortgage loan, there is a greater likelihood that a loss will be incurred upon any liquidation of the mortgaged property which secures such mortgage loan.

ARMs also have the risk of prepayment. The rate of principal prepayments with respect to ARMs has fluctuated in recent years. The value of Mortgage-Backed Securities collateralized by ARMs is less likely to rise during periods of declining interest rates than the value of fixed-rate securities during such periods. Accordingly, ARMs may be subject to a greater rate of principal repayments in a declining interest rate environment resulting in lower yields to the Fund. For example, if prevailing interest rates fall significantly, ARMs could be subject to higher prepayment rates (than if prevailing interest rates remain constant or increase) because the availability of low fixed-rate mortgages may encourage mortgagors to refinance their ARMs to “lock-in” a fixed-rate mortgage. On the other hand, during periods of rising interest rates, the value of ARMs will lag behind changes in the market rate. ARMs are also typically subject to maximum increases and decreases in the interest rate adjustment which can be made on any one adjustment date, in any one year, or during the life of the security. In the event of dramatic increases or decreases in prevailing market interest rates, the value of the Fund’s investment in ARMs may fluctuate more substantially because these limits may prevent the security from fully adjusting its interest rate to the prevailing market rates. As with fixed-rate mortgages, ARM prepayment rates vary in both stable and changing interest rate environments.

 

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There are two main categories of indices which provide the basis for rate adjustments on ARMs: those based on U.S. Treasury securities and those derived from a calculated measure, such as a cost of funds index or a moving average of mortgage rates. Indices commonly used for this purpose include the one-year, three-year and five-year constant maturity Treasury rates, the three-month Treasury bill rate, the 180-day Treasury bill rate, rates on longer-term Treasury securities, the 11th District Federal Home Loan Bank Cost of Funds, the National Median Cost of Funds, the one-month, three-month, six-month or one-year LIBOR, the prime rate of a specific bank, or commercial paper rates. Some indices, such as the one-year constant maturity Treasury rate, closely mirror changes in market interest rate levels. Others, such as the 11th District Federal Home Loan Bank Cost of Funds index, tend to lag behind changes in market rate levels and tend to be somewhat less volatile. The degree of volatility in the market value of ARMs in the Fund’s portfolio and, therefore, in the NAV of the Fund’s shares, will be a function of the length of the interest rate reset periods and the degree of volatility in the applicable indices.

Fixed-Rate Mortgage Loans. Generally, fixed-rate mortgage loans included in mortgage pools (the “Fixed-Rate Mortgage Loans”) will bear simple interest at fixed annual rates and have original terms to maturity ranging from 5 to 40 years. Fixed-Rate Mortgage Loans generally provide for monthly payments of principal and interest in substantially equal installments for the term of the mortgage note in sufficient amounts to fully amortize principal by maturity, although certain Fixed-Rate Mortgage Loans provide for a large final “balloon” payment upon maturity.

Certain Legal Considerations of Mortgage Loans. The following is a discussion of certain legal and regulatory aspects of the mortgage loans in which the Fund may invest. This discussion is not exhaustive, and does not address all of the legal or regulatory aspects affecting mortgage loans. These regulations may impair the ability of a mortgage lender to enforce its rights under the mortgage documents. These regulations may also adversely affect the Fund’s investments in Mortgage-Backed Securities (including those issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities) by delaying the Fund’s receipt of payments derived from principal or interest on mortgage loans affected by such regulations.

 

1.

Foreclosure. A foreclosure of a defaulted mortgage loan may be delayed due to compliance with statutory notice or service of process provisions, difficulties in locating necessary parties or legal challenges to the mortgagee’s right to foreclose. Depending upon market conditions, the ultimate proceeds of the sale of foreclosed property may not equal the amounts owed on the Mortgage-Backed Securities. Furthermore, courts in some cases have imposed general equitable principles upon foreclosure generally designed to relieve the borrower from the legal effect of default and have required lenders to undertake affirmative and expensive actions to determine the causes for the default and the likelihood of loan reinstatement.

 

2.

Rights of Redemption. In some states, after foreclosure of a mortgage loan, the borrower and foreclosed junior lienors are given a statutory period in which to redeem the property, which right may diminish the mortgagee’s ability to sell the property.

 

3.

Legislative Limitations. In addition to anti-deficiency and related legislation, numerous other federal and state statutory provisions, including the federal bankruptcy laws and state laws affording relief to debtors, may interfere with or affect the ability of a secured mortgage lender to enforce its security interest. For example, a bankruptcy court may grant the debtor a reasonable time to cure a default on a mortgage loan, including a payment default. The court in certain instances may also reduce the monthly payments due under such mortgage loan, change the rate of interest, reduce the principal balance of the loan to the then-current appraised value of the related mortgaged property, alter the mortgage loan repayment schedule and grant priority of certain liens over the lien of the mortgage loan. If a court relieves a borrower’s obligation to repay amounts otherwise due on a mortgage loan, the mortgage loan servicer will not be required to advance such amounts, and any loss may be borne by the holders of securities backed by such loans. In addition, numerous federal and state consumer protection laws impose penalties for failure to comply with specific requirements in connection with origination and servicing of mortgage loans.

 

4.

“Due-on-Sale” Provisions. Fixed-rate mortgage loans may contain a so-called “due-on-sale” clause permitting acceleration of the maturity of the mortgage loan if the borrower transfers the property. The Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act of 1982 sets forth nine specific instances in which no mortgage lender covered by that Act may exercise a “due-on-sale” clause upon a transfer of property. The inability to enforce a “due-on-sale” clause or the lack of such a clause in mortgage loan documents may result in a mortgage loan being assumed by a purchaser of the property that bears an interest rate below the current market rate.

 

5.

Usury Laws. Some states prohibit charging interest on mortgage loans in excess of statutory limits. If such limits are exceeded, substantial penalties may be incurred and, in some cases, enforceability of the obligation to pay principal and interest may be affected.

 

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6.

Recent Governmental Action, Legislation and Regulation. The rise in the rate of foreclosures of properties in certain states or localities has resulted in legislative, regulatory and enforcement action in such states or localities seeking to prevent or restrict foreclosures, particularly in respect of residential mortgage loans. Actions have also been brought against issuers and underwriters of residential Mortgage-Backed Securities collateralized by such residential mortgage loans and investors in such residential Mortgage-Backed Securities. Legislative or regulatory initiatives by federal, state or local legislative bodies or administrative agencies, if enacted or adopted, could delay foreclosure or the exercise of other remedies, provide new defenses to foreclosure, or otherwise impair the ability of the loan servicer to foreclose or realize on a defaulted residential mortgage loan included in a pool of residential mortgage loans backing such residential Mortgage-Backed Securities. While the nature or extent of limitations on foreclosure or exercise of other remedies that may be enacted cannot be predicted, any such governmental actions that interfere with the foreclosure process could increase the costs of such foreclosures or exercise of other remedies in respect of residential mortgage loans which collateralize Mortgage-Backed Securities held by the Fund, delay the timing or reduce the amount of recoveries on defaulted residential mortgage loans which collateralize Mortgage-Backed Securities held by the Fund, and consequently, could adversely impact the yields and distributions the Fund may receive in respect of its ownership of Mortgage-Backed Securities collateralized by residential mortgage loans. For example, the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009 authorized bankruptcy courts to assist bankrupt borrowers by restructuring residential mortgage loans secured by a lien on the borrower’s primary residence. Bankruptcy judges are permitted to reduce the interest rate of the bankrupt borrower’s residential mortgage loan, extend its term to maturity to up to 40 years or take other actions to reduce the borrower’s monthly payment. As a result, the value of, and the cash flows in respect of, the Mortgage-Backed Securities collateralized by these residential mortgage loans may be adversely impacted, and, as a consequence, the Fund’s investment in such Mortgage-Backed Securities could be adversely impacted. Other federal legislation, including the Home Affordability Modification Program (“HAMP”), encourages servicers to modify residential mortgage loans that are either already in default or are at risk of imminent default. Furthermore, HAMP provides incentives for servicers to modify residential mortgage loans that are contractually current. This program, as well other legislation and/or governmental intervention designed to protect consumers, may have an adverse impact on servicers of residential mortgage loans by increasing costs and expenses of these servicers while at the same time decreasing servicing cash flows. Such increased financial pressures may have a negative effect on the ability of servicers to pursue collection on residential mortgage loans that are experiencing increased delinquencies and defaults and to maximize recoveries on the sale of underlying residential mortgaged properties following foreclosure. Other legislative or regulatory actions include insulation of servicers from liability for modification of residential mortgage loans without regard to the terms of the applicable servicing agreements. The foregoing legislation and current and future governmental regulation activities may have the effect of reducing returns to the Fund to the extent it has invested in Mortgage-Backed Securities collateralized by these residential mortgage loans.

Government Guaranteed Mortgage-Backed Securities. There are several types of government guaranteed Mortgage-Backed Securities currently available, including guaranteed mortgage pass-through certificates and multiple class securities, which include guaranteed Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit Certificates (“REMIC Certificates”), other collateralized mortgage obligations and stripped Mortgage-Backed Securities. The Fund are permitted to invest in other types of Mortgage-Backed Securities that may be available in the future to the extent consistent with its investment policies and objective.

The Fund’s investments in Mortgage-Backed Securities may include securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government or one of its agencies, authorities, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises, such as the Government National Mortgage Association (“Ginnie Mae”), the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”). Ginnie Mae securities are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government, which means that the U.S. Government guarantees that the interest and principal will be paid when due. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securities are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have the ability to borrow from the U.S. Treasury, and as a result, they have historically been viewed by the market as high quality securities with low credit risks. From time to time, proposals have been introduced before Congress for the purpose of restricting or eliminating federal sponsorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Trust cannot predict what legislation, if any, may be proposed in the future in Congress as regards such sponsorship or which proposals, if any, might be enacted. Such proposals, if enacted, might materially and adversely affect the availability of government guaranteed Mortgage- Backed Securities and the liquidity and value of the Fund’s portfolio.

There is risk that the U.S. Government will not provide financial support to its agencies, authorities, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises. The Fund may purchase U.S. Government Securities that are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government, such as those issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The maximum potential liability of the issuers of some U.S. Government Securities held by the Fund may greatly exceed such issuers’ current resources, including such issuers’ legal right to support from the U.S. Treasury. It is possible that these issuers will not have the funds to meet their payment obligations in the future.

 

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Below is a general discussion of certain types of guaranteed Mortgage-Backed Securities in which the Fund may invest.

 

   

Ginnie Mae Certificates. Ginnie Mae is a wholly-owned corporate instrumentality of the United States. Ginnie Mae is authorized to guarantee the timely payment of the principal of and interest on certificates that are based on and backed by a pool of mortgage loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”), or guaranteed by the Veterans Administration (“VA”), or by pools of other eligible mortgage loans. In order to meet its obligations under any guaranty, Ginnie Mae is authorized to borrow from the United States Treasury in an unlimited amount. The National Housing Act provides that the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government is pledged to the timely payment of principal and interest by Ginnie Mae of amounts due on Ginnie Mae certificates.

 

   

Fannie Mae Certificates. Fannie Mae is a stockholder-owned corporation chartered under an act of the United States Congress. Generally, Fannie Mae Certificates are issued and guaranteed by Fannie Mae and represent an undivided interest in a pool of mortgage loans (a “Pool”) formed by Fannie Mae. A Pool consists of residential mortgage loans either previously owned by Fannie Mae or purchased by it in connection with the formation of the Pool. The mortgage loans may be either conventional mortgage loans (i.e., not insured or guaranteed by any U.S. Government agency) or mortgage loans that are either insured by the FHA or guaranteed by the VA. However, the mortgage loans in Fannie Mae Pools are primarily conventional mortgage loans. The lenders originating and servicing the mortgage loans are subject to certain eligibility requirements established by Fannie Mae. Fannie Mae has certain contractual responsibilities. With respect to each Pool, Fannie Mae is obligated to distribute scheduled installments of principal and interest after Fannie Mae’s servicing and guaranty fee, whether or not received, to Certificate holders. Fannie Mae also is obligated to distribute to holders of Certificates an amount equal to the full principal balance of any foreclosed mortgage loan, whether or not such principal balance is actually recovered. The obligations of Fannie Mae under its guaranty of the Fannie Mae Certificates are obligations solely of Fannie Mae. See “Certain Additional Information with Respect to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae” below.

 

   

The mortgage loans underlying the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae Certificates consist of adjustable rate or fixed-rate mortgage loans with original terms to maturity of up to forty years. These mortgage loans are usually secured by first liens on one-to-four-family residential properties or multi-family projects. Each mortgage loan must meet the applicable standards set forth in the law creating Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. A Freddie Mac Certificate group may include whole loans, participation interests in whole loans, undivided interests in whole loans and participations comprising another Freddie Mac Certificate group.

 

   

Freddie Mac Certificates. Freddie Mac is a publicly held U.S. Government sponsored enterprise. A principal activity of Freddie Mac currently is the purchase of first lien, conventional, residential and multifamily mortgage loans and participation interests in such mortgage loans and their resale in the form of mortgage securities, primarily Freddie Mac Certificates. A Freddie Mac Certificate represents a pro rata interest in a group of mortgage loans or participations in mortgage loans (a “Freddie Mac Certificate group”) purchased by Freddie Mac. Freddie Mac guarantees to each registered holder of a Freddie Mac Certificate the timely payment of interest at the rate provided for by such Freddie Mac Certificate (whether or not received on the underlying loans). Freddie Mac also guarantees to each registered Certificate holder ultimate collection of all principal of the related mortgage loans, without any offset or deduction, but does not, generally, guarantee the timely payment of scheduled principal. The obligations of Freddie Mac under its guaranty of Freddie Mac Certificates are obligations solely of Freddie Mac. See “Certain Additional Information with Respect to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae” below.

The mortgage loans underlying the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae Certificates consist of adjustable rate or fixed-rate mortgage loans with original terms to maturity of up to forty years. These mortgage loans are usually secured by first liens on one-to-four-family residential properties or multi-family projects. Each mortgage loan must meet the applicable standards set forth in the law creating Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. A Freddie Mac Certificate group may include whole loans, participation interests in whole loans, undivided interests in whole loans and participations comprising another Freddie Mac Certificate group.

Conventional Mortgage Loans. The conventional mortgage loans underlying the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae Certificates consist of adjustable rate or fixed-rate mortgage loans normally with original terms to maturity of between five and thirty years. Substantially all of these mortgage loans are secured by first liens on one- to four-family residential properties or multi-family projects. Each mortgage loan must meet the applicable standards set forth in the law creating Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. A Freddie Mac Certificate group may include whole loans, participation interests in whole loans, undivided interests in whole loans and participations comprising another Freddie Mac Certificate group.

 

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Certain Additional Information with Respect to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The volatility and disruption that impacted the capital and credit markets during late 2008 and into 2009 have led to increased market concerns about Freddie Mac’s and Fannie Mae’s ability to withstand future credit losses associated with securities held in their investment portfolios, and on which they provide guarantees, without the direct support of the federal government. On September 6, 2008, both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were placed under the conservatorship of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”). Under the plan of conservatorship, the FHFA has assumed control of, and generally has the power to direct, the operations of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and is empowered to exercise all powers collectively held by their respective shareholders, directors and officers, including the power to (1) take over the assets of and operate Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae with all the powers of the shareholders, the directors, and the officers of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and conduct all business of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae; (2) collect all obligations and money due to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae; (3) perform all functions of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae which are consistent with the conservator’s appointment; (4) preserve and conserve the assets and property of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae; and (5) contract for assistance in fulfilling any function, activity, action or duty of the conservator. In addition, in connection with the actions taken by the FHFA, the U.S. Treasury entered into certain preferred stock purchase agreements with each of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae which established the U.S. Treasury as the holder of a new class of senior preferred stock in each of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, which stock was issued in connection with financial contributions from the U.S. Treasury to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The conditions attached to the financial contribution made by the U.S. Treasury to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and the issuance of this senior preferred stock placed significant restrictions on the activities of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae must obtain the consent of the U.S. Treasury to, among other things, (i) make any payment to purchase or redeem its capital stock or pay any dividend other than in respect of the senior preferred stock issued to the U.S. Treasury, (ii) issue capital stock of any kind, (iii) terminate the conservatorship of the FHFA except in connection with a receivership, or (iv) increase its debt beyond certain specified levels. In addition, significant restrictions were placed on the maximum size of each of Freddie Mac’s and Fannie Mae’s respective portfolios of mortgages and Mortgage-Backed Securities, and the purchase agreements entered into by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae provide that the maximum size of their portfolios of these assets must decrease by a specified percentage each year. On June 16, 2010, FHFA ordered Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s stock de-listed from NYSE after the price of common stock in Fannie Mae fell below the NYSE minimum average closing price of $1 for more than 30 days.

The future status and role of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae could be impacted by (among other things) the actions taken and restrictions placed on Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae by the FHFA in its role as conservator, the restrictions placed on Freddie Mac’s and Fannie Mae’s operations and activities as a result of the senior preferred stock investment made by the U.S. Treasury, market responses to developments at Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and future legislative and regulatory action that alters the operations, ownership, structure and/or mission of these institutions, each of which may, in turn, impact the value of, and cash flows on, any Mortgage-Backed Securities guaranteed by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, including any such Mortgage-Backed Securities held by the Fund.

Privately Issued Mortgage-Backed Securities. The Fund may invest in privately issued Mortgage-Backed Securities. Privately issued Mortgage-Backed Securities are generally backed by pools of conventional (i.e., non-government guaranteed or insured) mortgage loans. The seller or servicer of the underlying mortgage obligations will generally make representations and warranties to certificate-holders as to certain characteristics of the mortgage loans and as to the accuracy of certain information furnished to the trustee in respect of each such mortgage loan. Upon a breach of any representation or warranty that materially and adversely affects the interests of the related certificate-holders in a mortgage loan, the seller or servicer generally will be obligated either to cure the breach in all material respects, to repurchase the mortgage loan or, if the related agreement so provides, to substitute in its place a mortgage loan pursuant to the conditions set forth therein. Such a repurchase or substitution obligation may constitute the sole remedy available to the related certificate-holders or the trustee for the material breach of any such representation or warranty by the seller or servicer.

Mortgage Pass-Through Securities

The Fund may invest in both government guaranteed and privately issued mortgage pass-through securities (“Mortgage Pass- Throughs”) that are fixed or adjustable rate Mortgage-Backed Securities which provide for monthly payments that are a “pass-through” of the monthly interest and principal payments (including any prepayments) made by the individual borrowers on the pooled mortgage loans, net of any fees or other amounts paid to any guarantor, administrator and/or servicer of the underlying mortgage loans. The seller or servicer of the underlying mortgage obligations will generally make representations and warranties to certificate-holders as to certain characteristics of the mortgage loans and as to the accuracy of certain information furnished to the trustee in respect of each such mortgage loan. Upon a breach of any representation or warranty that materially and adversely affects the interests of the related certificate-holders in a mortgage loan, the seller or servicer generally may be obligated either to cure the breach in all material respects, to repurchase the mortgage loan or, if the related agreement so provides, to substitute in its place a mortgage loan pursuant to the conditions set forth therein. Such a repurchase or substitution obligation may constitute the sole remedy available to the related certificate-holders or the trustee for the material breach of any such representation or warranty by the seller or servicer.

The following discussion describes certain aspects of only a few of the wide variety of structures of Mortgage Pass-Throughs that are available or may be issued.

 

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General Description of Certificates. Mortgage Pass-Throughs may be issued in one or more classes of senior certificates and one or more classes of subordinate certificates. Each such class may bear a different pass-through rate. Generally, each certificate will evidence the specified interest of the holder thereof in the payments of principal or interest or both in respect of the mortgage pool comprising part of the trust fund for such certificates.

Any class of certificates may also be divided into subclasses entitled to varying amounts of principal and interest. If a REMIC election has been made, certificates of such subclasses may be entitled to payments on the basis of a stated principal balance and stated interest rate, and payments among different subclasses may be made on a sequential, concurrent, pro rata or disproportionate basis, or any combination thereof. The stated interest rate on any such subclass of certificates may be a fixed rate or one which varies in direct or inverse relationship to an objective interest index.

Generally, each registered holder of a certificate will be entitled to receive its pro rata share of monthly distributions of all or a portion of principal of the underlying mortgage loans or of interest on the principal balances thereof, which accrues at the applicable mortgage pass-through rate, or both. The difference between the mortgage interest rate and the related mortgage pass-through rate (less the amount, if any, of retained yield) with respect to each mortgage loan will generally be paid to the servicer as a servicing fee. Because certain adjustable rate mortgage loans included in a mortgage pool may provide for deferred interest (i.e., negative amortization), the amount of interest actually paid by a mortgagor in any month may be less than the amount of interest accrued on the outstanding principal balance of the related mortgage loan during the relevant period at the applicable mortgage interest rate. In such event, the amount of interest that is treated as deferred interest will generally be added to the principal balance of the related mortgage loan and will be distributed pro rata to certificate-holders as principal of such mortgage loan when paid by the mortgagor in subsequent monthly payments or at maturity.

Ratings. The ratings assigned by a rating organization to Mortgage Pass-Throughs generally address the likelihood of the receipt of distributions on the underlying mortgage loans by the related certificate-holders under the agreements pursuant to which such certificates are issued. A rating organization’s ratings normally take into consideration the credit quality of the related mortgage pool, including any credit support providers, structural and legal aspects associated with such certificates, and the extent to which the payment stream on such mortgage pool is adequate to make payments required by such certificates. A rating organization’s ratings on such certificates do not, however, constitute a statement regarding frequency of prepayments on the related mortgage loans. In addition, the rating assigned by a rating organization to a certificate may not address the possibility that, in the event of the insolvency of the issuer of certificates where a subordinated interest was retained, the issuance and sale of the senior certificates may be recharacterized as a financing and, as a result of such recharacterization, payments on such certificates may be affected. A rating organization may downgrade or withdraw a rating assigned by it to any Mortgage Pass-Through at any time, and no assurance can be made that any ratings on any Mortgage Pass- Throughs included in the Fund will be maintained, or that if such ratings are assigned, they will not be downgraded or withdrawn by the assigning rating organization.

In the past, rating agencies have placed on credit watch or downgraded the ratings previously assigned to a large number of mortgage-backed securities (which may include certain of the Mortgage-Backed Securities in which the Fund may have invested or may in the future be invested), and may continue to do so in the future. In the event that any Mortgage-Backed Security held by the Fund is placed on credit watch or downgraded, the value of such Mortgage-Backed Security may decline and the Fund may consequently experience losses in respect of such Mortgage-Backed Security.

Credit Enhancement. Mortgage pools created by non-governmental issuers generally offer a higher yield than government and government-related pools because of the absence of direct or indirect government or agency payment guarantees. To lessen the effect of failures by obligors on underlying assets to make payments, Mortgage Pass-Throughs may contain elements of credit support. Credit support falls generally into two categories: (i) liquidity protection and (ii) protection against losses resulting from default by an obligor on the underlying assets. Liquidity protection refers to the provision of advances, generally by the entity administering the pools of mortgages, the provision of a reserve fund, or a combination thereof, to ensure, subject to certain limitations, that scheduled payments on the underlying pool are made in a timely fashion. Protection against losses resulting from default ensures ultimate payment of the obligations on at least a portion of the assets in the pool. Such credit support can be provided by, among other things, payment guarantees, letters of credit, pool insurance, subordination, or any combination thereof.

Subordination; Shifting of Interest; Reserve Fund. In order to achieve ratings on one or more classes of Mortgage Pass-Throughs, one or more classes of certificates may be subordinate certificates which provide that the rights of the subordinate certificate-holders to receive any or a specified portion of distributions with respect to the underlying mortgage loans may be subordinated to the rights of the senior certificate holders. If so structured, the subordination feature may be enhanced by distributing to the senior certificate-holders on certain distribution dates, as payment of principal, a specified percentage (which generally declines over time) of all principal payments received during the preceding prepayment period (“shifting interest credit enhancement”). This will have the effect of accelerating the amortization of the senior certificates while increasing the interest in the trust fund evidenced by the subordinate certificates. Increasing the interest of the subordinate certificates relative to that of the senior certificates is intended to preserve the availability of the

 

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subordination provided by the subordinate certificates. In addition, because the senior certificate-holders in a shifting interest credit enhancement structure are entitled to receive a percentage of principal prepayments which is greater than their proportionate interest in the trust fund, the rate of principal prepayments on the mortgage loans may have an even greater effect on the rate of principal payments and the amount of interest payments on, and the yield to maturity of, the senior certificates.

In addition to providing for a preferential right of the senior certificate-holders to receive current distributions from the mortgage pool, a reserve fund may be established relating to such certificates (the “Reserve Fund”). The Reserve Fund may be created with an initial cash deposit by the originator or servicer and augmented by the retention of distributions otherwise available to the subordinate certificate-holders or by excess servicing fees until the Reserve Fund reaches a specified amount.

The subordination feature, and any Reserve Fund, are intended to enhance the likelihood of timely receipt by senior certificate- holders of the full amount of scheduled monthly payments of principal and interest due to them and will protect the senior certificate- holders against certain losses; however, in certain circumstances the Reserve Fund could be depleted and temporary shortfalls could result. In the event that the Reserve Fund is depleted before the subordinated amount is reduced to zero, senior certificate-holders will nevertheless have a preferential right to receive current distributions from the mortgage pool to the extent of the then outstanding subordinated amount. Unless otherwise specified, until the subordinated amount is reduced to zero, on any distribution date any amount otherwise distributable to the subordinate certificates or, to the extent specified, in the Reserve Fund will generally be used to offset the amount of any losses realized with respect to the mortgage loans (“Realized Losses”). Realized Losses remaining after application of such amounts will generally be applied to reduce the ownership interest of the subordinate certificates in the mortgage pool. If the subordinated amount has been reduced to zero, Realized Losses generally will be allocated pro rata among all certificate-holders in proportion to their respective outstanding interests in the mortgage pool.

Alternative Credit Enhancement. As an alternative, or in addition to the credit enhancement afforded by subordination, credit enhancement for Mortgage Pass-Throughs may be provided through bond insurers, or at the mortgage loan-level through mortgage insurance, hazard insurance, or through the deposit of cash, certificates of deposit, letters of credit, a limited guaranty or by such other methods as are acceptable to a rating agency. In certain circumstances, such as where credit enhancement is provided by bond insurers, guarantees or letters of credit, the security is subject to credit risk because of its exposure to the credit risk of an external credit enhancement provider.

Voluntary Advances. Generally, in the event of delinquencies in payments on the mortgage loans underlying the Mortgage Pass- Throughs, the servicer may agree to make advances of cash for the benefit of certificate-holders, but generally will do so only to the extent that it determines such voluntary advances will be recoverable from future payments and collections on the mortgage loans or otherwise.

Optional Termination. Generally, the servicer may, at its option with respect to any certificates, repurchase all of the underlying mortgage loans remaining outstanding at such time if the aggregate outstanding principal balance of such mortgage loans is less than a specified percentage (generally 5-10%) of the aggregate outstanding principal balance of the mortgage loans as of the cut-off date specified with respect to such series.

Multiple Class Mortgage-Backed Securities and Collateralized Mortgage Obligations. The Fund may invest in multiple class securities including collateralized mortgage obligations (“CMOs”) and REMIC Certificates. These securities may be issued by U.S. Government agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises such as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac or by trusts formed by private originators of, or investors in, mortgage loans, including savings and loan associations, mortgage bankers, commercial banks, insurance companies, investment banks and special purpose subsidiaries of the foregoing. In general, CMOs are debt obligations of a legal entity that are collateralized by, and multiple class Mortgage-Backed Securities represent direct ownership interests in, a pool of mortgage loans or Mortgage-Backed Securities the payments on which are used to make payments on the CMOs or multiple class Mortgage- Backed Securities.

Fannie Mae REMIC Certificates are issued and guaranteed as to timely distribution of principal and interest by Fannie Mae. In addition, Fannie Mae will be obligated to distribute the principal balance of each class of REMIC Certificates in full, whether or not sufficient funds are otherwise available.

Freddie Mac guarantees the timely payment of interest on Freddie Mac REMIC Certificates and also guarantees the payment of principal as payments are required to be made on the underlying mortgage participation certificates (“PCs”). PCs represent undivided interests in specified level payment, residential mortgages or participations therein purchased by Freddie Mac and placed in a PC pool. With respect to principal payments on PCs, Freddie Mac generally guarantees ultimate collection of all principal of the related mortgage loans without offset or deduction but the receipt of the required payments may be delayed. Freddie Mac also guarantees timely payment of principal of certain PCs.

 

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CMOs and guaranteed REMIC Certificates issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are types of multiple class Mortgage-Backed Securities. The REMIC Certificates represent beneficial ownership interests in a REMIC trust, generally consisting of mortgage loans or Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or Ginnie Mae guaranteed Mortgage-Backed Securities (the “Mortgage Assets”). The obligations of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac under their respective guaranty of the REMIC Certificates are obligations solely of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, respectively. See “Certain Additional Information with Respect to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.”

CMOs and REMIC Certificates are issued in multiple classes. Each class of CMOs or REMIC Certificates, often referred to as a “tranche,” is issued at a specific adjustable or fixed interest rate and must be fully retired no later than its final distribution date. Principal prepayments on the mortgage loans or the Mortgage Assets underlying the CMOs or REMIC Certificates may cause some or all of the classes of CMOs or REMIC Certificates to be retired substantially earlier than their final distribution dates. Generally, interest is paid or accrues on all classes of CMOs or REMIC Certificates on a monthly basis.

The principal of and interest on the Mortgage Assets may be allocated among the several classes of CMOs or REMIC Certificates in various ways. In certain structures (known as “sequential pay” CMOs or REMIC Certificates), payments of principal, including any principal prepayments, on the Mortgage Assets generally are applied to the classes of CMOs or REMIC Certificates in the order of their respective final distribution dates. Thus, no payment of principal will be made on any class of sequential pay CMOs or REMIC Certificates until all other classes having an earlier final distribution date have been paid in full.

Additional structures of CMOs and REMIC Certificates include, among others, “parallel pay” CMOs and REMIC Certificates. Parallel pay CMOs or REMIC Certificates are those which are structured to apply principal payments and prepayments of the Mortgage Assets to two or more classes concurrently on a proportionate or disproportionate basis. These simultaneous payments are taken into account in calculating the final distribution date of each class.

A wide variety of REMIC Certificates may be issued in parallel pay or sequential pay structures. These securities include accrual certificates (also known as “Z-Bonds”), which only accrue interest at a specified rate until all other certificates having an earlier final distribution date have been retired and are converted thereafter to an interest-paying security, and planned amortization class (“PAC”) certificates, which are parallel pay REMIC Certificates that generally require that specified amounts of principal be applied on each payment date to one or more classes or REMIC Certificates (the “PAC Certificates”), even though all other principal payments and prepayments of the Mortgage Assets are then required to be applied to one or more other classes of the PAC Certificates. The scheduled principal payments for the PAC Certificates generally have the highest priority on each payment date after interest due has been paid to all classes entitled to receive interest currently. Shortfalls, if any, are added to the amount payable on the next payment date. The PAC Certificate payment schedule is taken into account in calculating the final distribution date of each class of PAC. In order to create PAC tranches, one or more tranches generally must be created that absorb most of the volatility in the underlying mortgage assets. These tranches tend to have market prices and yields that are much more volatile than other PAC classes.

Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities. Commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS”). are a type of Mortgage Pass- Through that are primarily backed by a pool of commercial mortgage loans. The commercial mortgage loans are, in turn, generally secured by commercial mortgaged properties (such as office properties, retail properties, hospitality properties, industrial properties, healthcare related properties or other types of income producing real property). CMBS generally entitle the holders thereof to receive payments that depend primarily on the cash flow from a specified pool of commercial or multifamily mortgage loans. CMBS will be affected by payments, defaults, delinquencies and losses on the underlying mortgage loans. The underlying mortgage loans generally are secured by income producing properties such as office properties, retail properties, multifamily properties, manufactured housing, hospitality properties, industrial properties and self storage properties. Because issuers of CMBS have no significant assets other than the underlying commercial real estate loans and because of the significant credit risks inherent in the underlying collateral, credit risk is a correspondingly important consideration with respect to the related CMBS. Certain of the mortgage loans underlying CMBS constituting part of the collateral interests may be delinquent, in default or in foreclosure.

Commercial real estate lending may expose a lender (and the related Mortgage-Backed Security) to a greater risk of loss than certain other forms of lending because it typically involves making larger loans to single borrowers or groups of related borrowers. In addition, in the case of certain commercial mortgage loans, repayment of loans secured by commercial and multifamily properties depends upon the ability of the related real estate project to generate income sufficient to pay debt service, operating expenses and leasing commissions and to make necessary repairs, tenant improvements and capital improvements, and in the case of loans that do not fully amortize over their terms, to retain sufficient value to permit the borrower to pay off the loan at maturity through a sale or refinancing of the mortgaged property. The net operating income from and value of any commercial property is subject to various risks, including changes in general or local economic conditions and/or specific industry segments; declines in real estate values; declines in rental or occupancy rates; increases in interest rates, real estate tax rates and other operating expenses; changes in governmental rules, regulations and fiscal policies; acts of God; terrorist threats and attacks and social unrest and civil disturbances. In addition, certain of the mortgaged properties securing the pools of commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS may have a higher degree of geographic concentration in a few states or regions. Any deterioration in the real estate market or economy or adverse events in such states or regions, may increase the

 

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rate of delinquency and default experience (and as a consequence, losses) with respect to mortgage loans related to properties in such state or region. Pools of mortgaged properties securing the commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS may also have a higher degree of concentration in certain types of commercial properties. Accordingly, such pools of mortgage loans represent higher exposure to risks particular to those types of commercial properties. Certain pools of commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS consist of a fewer number of mortgage loans with outstanding balances that are larger than average. If a mortgage pool includes mortgage loans with larger than average balances, any realized losses on such mortgage loans could be more severe, relative to the size of the pool, than would be the case if the aggregate balance of the pool were distributed among a larger number of mortgage loans. Certain borrowers or affiliates thereof relating to certain of the commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS may have had a history of bankruptcy. Certain mortgaged properties securing the commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS may have been exposed to environmental conditions or circumstances. The ratings in respect of certain of the CMBS comprising the Mortgage-Backed Securities may have been withdrawn, reduced or placed on credit watch since issuance. In addition, losses and/or appraisal reductions may be allocated to certain of such CMBS and certain of the collateral or the assets underlying such collateral may be delinquent and/or may default from time to time.

CMBS held by the Fund may be subordinated to one or more other classes of securities of the same series for purposes of, among other things, establishing payment priorities and offsetting losses and other shortfalls with respect to the related underlying mortgage loans. Realized losses in respect of the mortgage loans included in the CMBS pool and trust expenses generally will be allocated to the most subordinated class of securities of the related series. Accordingly, to the extent any CMBS is or becomes the most subordinated class of securities of the related series, any delinquency or default on any underlying mortgage loan may result in shortfalls, realized loss allocations or extensions of its weighted average life and will have a more immediate and disproportionate effect on the related CMBS than on a related more senior class of CMBS of the same series. Further, even if a class is not the most subordinate class of securities, there can be no assurance that the subordination offered to such class will be sufficient on any date to offset all losses or expenses incurred by the underlying trust. CMBS are typically not guaranteed or insured, and distributions on such CMBS generally will depend solely upon the amount and timing of payments and other collections on the related underlying commercial mortgage loans.

Stripped Mortgage-Backed Securities. The Fund may invest in stripped mortgage-backed securities (“SMBS”), which are derivative multiclass mortgage securities, issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities or non-governmental originators. SMBS are usually structured with two different classes: one that receives substantially all of the interest payments (the interest-only, or “IO” and/or the high coupon rate with relatively low principal amount, or “IOette”), and the other that receives substantially all of the principal payments (the principal-only, or “PO”), from a pool of mortgage loans.

Certain SMBS may not be readily marketable. The market value of POs generally is unusually volatile in response to changes in interest rates. The yields on IOs and IOettes are generally higher than prevailing market yields on other Mortgage-Backed Securities because their cash flow patterns are more volatile and there is a greater risk that the initial investment will not be fully recouped. The Fund’s investments in SMBS may require the Fund to sell certain of its portfolio securities to generate sufficient cash to satisfy certain income distribution requirements. These and other factors discussed in the section above, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in SMBS.

Municipal Securities

The Fund may invest in bonds, notes and other instruments issued by or on behalf of states, territories and possessions of the United States (including the District of Columbia) and their political subdivisions, agencies or instrumentalities (“Municipal Securities”). Dividends paid by the Fund that are derived from interest paid on both tax-exempt and taxable Municipal Securities will be taxable to the Fund’s shareholders.

Municipal Securities are often issued to obtain funds for various public purposes including refunding outstanding obligations, obtaining funds for general operating expenses, and obtaining funds to lend to other public institutions and facilities. Municipal Securities also include certain “private activity bonds” or industrial development bonds, which are issued by or on behalf of public authorities to provide financing aid to acquire sites or construct or equip facilities within a municipality for privately or publicly owned corporations.

Investments in municipal securities are subject to the risk that the issuer could default on its obligations. Such a default could result from the inadequacy of the sources or revenues from which interest and principal payments are to be made, including property tax collections, sales tax revenue, income tax revenue and local, state and federal government funding, or the assets collateralizing such obligations. Municipal securities and issuers of municipal securities may be more susceptible to downgrade, default, and bankruptcy as a result of recent periods of economic stress. In the aftermath of the 2007-2008 financial crisis, several municipalities filed for bankruptcy protection or indicated that they may seek bankruptcy protection in the future. Revenue bonds (as described further below), including private activity bonds, are backed only by specific assets or revenue sources and not by the full faith and credit of the governmental issuer.

 

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The two principal classifications of Municipal Securities are “general obligations” and “revenue obligations.” General obligations are secured by the issuer’s pledge of its full faith and credit for the payment of principal and interest, although the characteristics and enforcement of general obligations may vary according to the law applicable to the particular issuer. Revenue obligations, which include, but are not limited to, private activity bonds, resource recovery bonds, certificates of participation and certain municipal notes, are not backed by the credit and taxing authority of the issuer, and are payable solely from the revenues derived from a particular facility or class of facilities or, in some cases, from the proceeds of a special excise or other specific revenue source. Nevertheless, the obligations of the issuer of a revenue obligation may be backed by a letter of credit, guarantee or insurance. General obligations and revenue obligations may be issued in a variety of forms, including commercial paper, fixed, variable and floating rate securities, tender option bonds, auction rate bonds, zero coupon bonds, deferred interest bonds and capital appreciation bonds.

In addition to general obligations and revenue obligations, there are a variety of hybrid and special types of Municipal Securities. There are also numerous differences in the security of Municipal Securities both within and between these two principal classifications.

For the purpose of applying an Fund’s investment restrictions, the identification of the issuer of a Municipal Securities which is not a general obligation is made by the Investment Adviser based on the characteristics of the Municipal Security, the most important of which is the source of funds for the payment of principal and interest on such securities.

An entire issue of Municipal Securities may be purchased by one or a small number of institutional investors, including the Fund. Thus, the issue may not be said to be publicly offered. Unlike some securities that are not publicly offered, a secondary market exists for many Municipal Securities that were not publicly offered initially and such securities may be readily marketable.

The credit rating assigned to Municipal Securities may reflect the existence of guarantees, letters of credit or other credit enhancement features available to the issuers or holders of such Municipal Securities.

The obligations of the issuer to pay the principal of and interest on a Municipal Security are subject to the provisions of bankruptcy, insolvency and other laws affecting the rights and remedies of creditors, such as the Federal Bankruptcy Code, and laws, if any, that may be enacted by Congress or state legislatures extending the time for payment of principal or interest or imposing other constraints upon the enforcement of such obligations. There is also the possibility that, as a result of litigation or other conditions, the power or ability of the issuer to pay when due principal of or interest on a Municipal Security may be materially affected.

From time to time, proposals have been introduced before Congress for the purpose of restricting or eliminating the federal income tax exemption for interest on Municipal Securities. For example, under the Tax Reform Act of 1986, interest on certain private activity bonds must be included in an investor’s federal alternative minimum taxable income. The Trust cannot predict what legislation, if any, may be proposed in the future in Congress as regards the federal income tax status of interest on Municipal Securities or which proposals, if any, might be enacted. Such proposals, if enacted, might materially and adversely affect the liquidity and value of the Municipal Securities in the Fund’s portfolio.

Municipal Leases, Certificates of Participation and Other Participation Interests. Municipal Securities include leases, certificates of participation and other participation interests. A municipal lease is an obligation in the form of a lease or installment purchase which is issued by a state or local government to acquire equipment and facilities. Income from such obligations is generally exempt from state and local taxes in the state of issuance. Municipal leases frequently involve special risks not normally associated with general obligations or revenue bonds. Leases and installment purchase or conditional sale contracts (which normally provide for title to the leased asset to pass eventually to the governmental issuer) have evolved as a means for governmental issuers to acquire property and equipment without meeting the constitutional and statutory requirements for the issuance of debt. The debt issuance limitations are deemed to be inapplicable because of the inclusion in many leases or contracts of “non-appropriation” clauses that relieve the governmental issuer of any obligation to make future payments under the lease or contract unless money is appropriated for such purpose by the appropriate legislative body on a yearly or other periodic basis. In addition, such leases or contracts may be subject to the temporary abatement of payments in the event the issuer is prevented from maintaining occupancy of the leased premises or utilizing the leased equipment. Although the obligations may be secured by the leased equipment or facilities, the disposition of the property in the event of non- appropriation or foreclosure might prove difficult, time consuming and costly, and result in a delay in recovering or the failure to fully recover the Fund’s original investment. To the extent that the Fund invests in unrated municipal leases or participates in such leases, the credit quality rating and risk of cancellation of such unrated leases will be monitored on an ongoing basis.

Certificates of participation represent undivided interests in municipal leases, installment purchase agreements or other instruments. The certificates are typically issued by a trust or other entity which has received an assignment of the payments to be made by the state or political subdivision under such leases or installment purchase agreements.

 

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Other municipal lease obligations and certificates of participation acquired by the Fund may be determined by the Investment Adviser to be liquid for the purpose of such limitation. In determining the liquidity of municipal lease obligations and certificates of participation, the Investment Adviser will consider a variety of factors including: (i) the willingness of dealers to bid for the security; (ii) the number of dealers willing to purchase or sell the obligation and the number of other potential buyers; (iii) the frequency of trades or quotes for the obligation; and (iv) the nature of the marketplace trades. In addition, the Investment Adviser will consider factors unique to particular lease obligations and certificates of participation affecting the marketability thereof. These include the general creditworthiness of the issuer, the importance to the issuer of the property covered by the lease and the likelihood that the marketability of the obligation will be maintained throughout the time the obligation is held by the Fund.

The Fund may purchase participations in Municipal Securities held by a commercial bank or other financial institution. Such participations provide the Fund with the right to a pro rata undivided interest in the underlying Municipal Securities. In addition, such participations generally provide the Fund with the right to demand payment, on not more than seven days’ notice, of all or any part of the Fund’s participation interest in the underlying Municipal Securities, plus accrued interest. The Fund will only invest in such participations if, in the opinion of bond counsel, counsel for the issuers of such participations or counsel selected by the investment advisors, the interest from such participation is exempt from regular federal income tax.

Auction Rate Securities. Municipal Securities also include auction rate Municipal Securities and auction rate preferred securities issued by closed-end investment companies that invest primarily in Municipal Securities (collectively, “auction rate securities”). Provided that the auction mechanism is successful, auction rate securities usually permit the holder to sell the securities in an auction at par value at specified intervals. The dividend is reset by “Dutch” auction in which bids are made by broker-dealers and other institutions for a certain amount of securities at a specified minimum yield. The dividend rate set by the auction is the lowest interest or dividend rate that covers all securities offered for sale. While this process is designed to permit auction rate securities to be traded at par value, there is some risk that an auction will fail due to insufficient demand for the securities. In certain recent market environments, auction failures have been more prevalent, which may adversely affect the liquidity and price of auction rate securities. Moreover, between auctions, there may be no secondary market for these securities, and sales conducted on a secondary market may not be on terms favorable to the seller. Thus, with respect to liquidity and price stability, auction rate securities may differ substantially from cash equivalents, notwithstanding the frequency of auctions and the credit quality of the security.

The Fund’s investments in auction rate securities of closed-end funds are subject to the limitations prescribed by the Act. The Fund will indirectly bear its proportionate share of any management and other fees paid by such closed-end funds in addition to the advisory fees payable directly by the Fund.

Other Types of Municipal Securities. Other types of Municipal Securities in which the Fund may invest include municipal notes, tax-exempt commercial paper, pre-refunded municipal bonds, industrial development bonds, tender option bonds and insured municipal obligations.

Call Risk and Reinvestment Risk. Municipal Securities may include “call” provisions which permit the issuers of such securities, at any time or after a specified period, to redeem the securities prior to their stated maturity. In the event that Municipal Securities held in the Fund’s portfolio are called prior to the maturity, the Fund will be required to reinvest the proceeds on such securities at an earlier date and may be able to do so only at lower yields, thereby reducing the Fund’s return on its portfolio securities.

Options on Securities, Securities Indices and Foreign Currencies

Writing and Purchasing Call and Put Options on Securities and Securities Indices. The Fund may write (sell) call and put options on any securities in which it may invest or any securities index consisting of securities in which it may invest. The Fund may write such options on securities that are listed on national domestic securities exchanges or foreign securities exchanges or traded in the over-the- counter market. A call option written by the Fund obligates that Fund to sell specified securities to the holder of the option at a specified price if the option is exercised on or before the expiration date. Depending upon the type of call option, the purchaser of a call option either (i) has the right to any appreciation in the value of the security over a fixed price (the “exercise price”) on a certain date in the future (the “expiration date”) or (ii) has the right to any appreciation in the value of the security over the exercise price at any time prior to the expiration of the option. If the purchaser exercises the option, the Fund pays the purchaser the difference between the price of the security and the exercise price of the option. The premium, the exercise price and the market value of the security determine the gain or loss realized by the Fund as the seller of the call option. The Fund can also repurchase the call option prior to the expiration date, ending its obligation. In this case, the cost of entering into closing purchase transactions will determine the gain or loss realized by the Fund. All call options written by the Fund are covered, which means that the Fund will own the securities subject to the option as long as the option is outstanding or the Fund will use the other methods described below. The Fund’s purpose in writing call options is to realize greater income than would be realized on portfolio securities transactions alone. However, the Fund may forego the opportunity to profit from an increase in the market price of the underlying security.

 

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A put option written by the Fund obligates the Fund to purchase specified securities from the option holder at a specified price if, the option is exercised on or before the expiration date. All put options written by the Fund would be covered, which means that the Fund will identify on its books cash or liquid assets with a value at least equal to the exercise price of the put option (less any margin on deposit) or will use the other methods described below. The purpose of writing such options is to generate additional income for the Fund. However, in return for the option premium, the Fund accepts the risk that it may be required to purchase the underlying securities at a price in excess of the securities’ market value at the time of purchase. For more information about these practices, see “DESCRIPTION OF INVESTMENT SECURITIES AND PRACTICES—Asset Segregation.”

In the case of a call option, the option may be “covered” if the Fund owns the instrument underlying the call or has an absolute and immediate right to acquire that instrument without additional cash consideration (or, if additional cash consideration is required, liquid assets in such amount are identified on the Fund’s books) upon conversion or exchange of other instruments held by it. A call option may also be covered if the Fund holds a call on the same instrument as the option written where the exercise price of the option held is (i) equal to or less than the exercise price of the option written, or (ii) greater than the exercise price of the option written provided the Fund identifies liquid assets in the amount of the difference. A put option may also be covered if the Fund holds a put on the same instrument as the option written where the exercise price of the option held is (i) equal to or higher than the exercise price of the option written, or (ii) less than the exercise price of the option written provided the Fund identifies on its books liquid assets in the amount of the difference. The Fund may also cover options on securities by identifying cash or liquid assets, as permitted by applicable law, with a value, when added to any margin on deposit that is equal to the market value of the securities in the case of a call option. Identified cash or liquid assets may be quoted or denominated in any currency. The Fund may also cover options on securities by identifying cash or liquid assets, as permitted by applicable law, with a value, when added to any margin on deposit that is equal to the market value of the securities in the case of a call option. Identified cash or liquid assets may be quoted or denominated in any currency.

The Fund may also write (sell) call and put options on any securities index comprised of securities in which it may invest. Options on securities indices are similar to options on securities, except that the exercise of securities index options requires cash payments and does not involve the actual purchase or sale of securities. In addition, securities index options are designed to reflect price fluctuations in a group of securities or segment of the securities market rather than price fluctuations in a single security.

The Fund may cover call options on a securities index by owning securities whose price changes are expected to be similar to those of the underlying index, or by having an absolute and immediate right to acquire such securities without additional cash consideration (or for additional consideration which has been identified by the Fund on its books) upon conversion or exchange of other securities in its portfolio. The Fund may also cover call and put options by identifying cash or liquid assets, as permitted by applicable law, with a value, when added to any margin on deposit, that is equal to the market value of the underlying securities in the case of a call option, or the exercise price in the case of a put option, or by owning offsetting options as described above.

The Fund may terminate its obligations under an exchange traded call or put option by purchasing an option identical to the one it has written. Obligations under over-the-counter options may be terminated only by entering into an offsetting transaction with the counterparty to such option. Such purchases are referred to as “closing purchase transactions.”

The Fund may also purchase put and call options on any securities in which it may invest or any securities index comprised of securities in which it may invest. The Fund may also enter into closing sale transactions in order to realize gains or minimize losses on options it had purchased.

The Fund may purchase call options in anticipation of an increase, or put options in anticipation of a decrease, in the market value of securities or other instruments of the type in which it may invest (“protective puts”). The purchase of a call option would entitle the Fund, in return for the premium paid, to purchase specified securities or other instruments at a specified price during the option period. The Fund would ordinarily realize a gain on the purchase of a call option if, during the option period, the value of such securities exceeded the sum of the exercise price, the premium paid and transaction costs; otherwise the Fund would realize either no gain or a loss on the purchase of the call option.

The purchase of a put option would entitle the Fund, in exchange for the premium paid, to sell specified securities or other instruments at a specified price during the option period. The purchase of protective puts is designed to offset or hedge against a decline in the market value of the Fund’s securities or other instruments. Put options may also be purchased by the Fund for the purpose of affirmatively benefiting from a decline in the price of securities or other instruments which it does not own. The Fund would ordinarily

 

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realize a gain if, during the option period, the value of the underlying securities or other instruments decreased below the exercise price sufficiently to cover the premium and transaction costs; otherwise the Fund would realize either no gain or a loss on the purchase of the put option. Gains and losses on the purchase of put options may be offset by countervailing changes in the value of the underlying portfolio securities or other instruments.

The Fund would purchase put and call options on securities indices for the same purposes as it would purchase options on individual securities. For a description of options on securities indices, see “Writing and Purchasing Call and Put Options on Securities and Securities Indices” above.

Yield Curve Options. The Fund may enter into options on the yield “spread” or differential between two securities. Such transactions are referred to as “yield curve” options. In contrast to other types of options, a yield curve option is based on the difference between the yields of designated securities, rather than the prices of the individual securities, and is settled through cash payments. Accordingly, a yield curve option is profitable to the holder if this differential widens (in the case of a call) or narrows (in the case of a put), regardless of whether the yields of the underlying securities increase or decrease.

The Fund may purchase or write yield curve options for the same purposes as other options on securities. For example, the Fund may purchase a call option on the yield spread between two securities if the Fund owns one of the securities and anticipates purchasing the other security and wants to hedge against an adverse change in the yield spread between the two securities. The Fund may also purchase or write yield curve options in an effort to increase current income if, in the judgment of its investment adviser, the Fund will be able to profit from movements in the spread between the yields of the underlying securities. The trading of yield curve options is subject to all of the risks associated with the trading of other types of options. In addition, however, such options present risk of loss even if the yield of one of the underlying securities remains constant, or if the spread moves in a direction or to an extent which was not anticipated.

Yield curve options written by the Fund will be “covered.” A call (or put) option is covered if the Fund holds another call (or put) option on the spread between the same two securities and identifies on its books cash or liquid assets sufficient to cover the Fund’s net liability under the two options. Therefore, the Fund’s liability for such an option is generally limited to the difference between the amount of the Fund’s liability under the option written by the Fund less the value of the option held by the Fund. Yield curve options may also be covered in such other manner as may be in accordance with the requirements of the counterparty with which the option is traded and applicable laws and regulations. Yield curve options are traded over-the-counter, and established trading markets for these options may not exist.

Risks Associated with Options Transactions. There is no assurance that a liquid secondary market on an options exchange will exist for any particular exchange-traded option or at any particular time. If the Fund is unable to effect a closing purchase transaction with respect to options it has written, the Fund will not be able to sell the underlying securities or dispose of the assets identified on its books to cover the position until the options expire or are exercised. Similarly, if the Fund is unable to effect a closing sale transaction with respect to options it has purchased, it will have to exercise the options in order to realize any profit and will incur transaction costs upon the purchase or sale of underlying securities.

Reasons for the absence of a liquid secondary market on an exchange include the following: (i) there may be insufficient trading interest in certain options; (ii) restrictions may be imposed by an exchange on opening or closing transactions or both; (iii) trading halts, suspensions or other restrictions may be imposed with respect to particular classes or series of options; (iv) unusual or unforeseen circumstances may interrupt normal operations on an exchange; (v) the facilities of an exchange or the Options Clearing Corporation may not at all times be adequate to handle current trading volume; or (vi) one or more exchanges could, for economic or other reasons, decide or be compelled at some future date to discontinue the trading of options (or a particular class or series of options), in which event the secondary market on that exchange (or in that class or series of options) would cease to exist, although outstanding options on that exchange that had been issued by the Options Clearing Corporation as a result of trades on that exchange would continue to be exercisable in accordance with their terms.

There can be no assurance that higher trading activity, order flow or other unforeseen events will not, at times, render certain of the facilities of the Options Clearing Corporation or various exchanges inadequate. Such events have, in the past, resulted in the institution by an exchange of special procedures, such as trading rotations, restrictions on certain types of order or trading halts or suspensions with respect to one or more options. These special procedures may limit liquidity.

The Fund may purchase and sell both options that are traded on U.S. and foreign exchanges and options traded over-the-counter with broker-dealers who make markets in these options. The ability to terminate over-the-counter options is more limited than with exchange-traded options and may involve the risk that broker-dealers participating in such transactions will not fulfill their obligations.

 

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Transactions by the Fund in options will be subject to limitations established by each of the exchanges, boards of trade or other trading facilities on which such options are traded governing the maximum number of options in each class which may be written or purchased by a single investor or group of investors acting in concert regardless of whether the options are written or purchased on the same or different exchanges, boards of trade or other trading facility or are held in one or more accounts or through one or more brokers. Thus, the number of options which the Fund may write or purchase may be affected by options written or purchased by other investment advisory clients of the Investment Adviser. An exchange, board of trade or other trading facility may order the liquidation of positions found to be in excess of these limits, and it may impose certain other sanctions.

The writing and purchase of options is a highly specialized activity which involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. The use of options to seek to increase total return involves the risk of loss if the Investment Adviser is incorrect in its expectation of fluctuations in securities prices or interest rates. The successful use of options for hedging purposes also depends in part on the ability of the Investment Adviser to manage future price fluctuations and the degree of correlation between the options and securities markets. If the Investment Adviser is incorrect in its expectation of changes in securities prices or determination of the correlation between the securities or securities indices on which options are written and purchased and the securities in the Fund’s investment portfolio, the Fund may incur losses that it would not otherwise incur. The writing of options could increase the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate and, therefore, associated brokerage commissions or spreads.

Special Risks Associated with Options on Currency. An exchange traded options position may be closed out only on an options exchange that provides a secondary market for an option of the same series. Although the Fund will generally purchase or write only those options for which there appears to be an active secondary market, there is no assurance that a liquid secondary market on an exchange will exist for any particular option, or at any particular time. For some options, no secondary market on an exchange may exist. In such event, it might not be possible to effect closing transactions in particular options, with the result that the Fund would have to exercise its options in order to realize any profit and would incur transaction costs upon the sale of underlying securities pursuant to the exercise of put options. If the Fund as an option writer is unable to effect a closing purchase transaction in a secondary market, it may not be able to sell the underlying currency (or security quoted or denominated in that currency) or dispose of the identified assets, until the option expires or it delivers the underlying currency upon exercise.

There is no assurance that higher than anticipated trading activity or other unforeseen events might not, at times, render certain of the facilities of the Options Clearing Corporation inadequate, and thereby result in the institution by an exchange of special procedures which may interfere with the timely execution of customers’ orders.

The Fund may purchase and write over-the-counter options. Trading in over-the-counter options is subject to the risk that the other party will be unable or unwilling to close out options purchased or written by the Fund.

The amount of the premiums which the Fund may pay or receive may be adversely affected as new or existing institutions, including other investment companies, engage in or increase their option purchasing and writing activities.

Writing and Purchasing Call and Put Options on Currency. The Fund may, to the extent they invest in foreign securities, write put and call options and purchase put and call options on foreign currencies for the purpose of protecting against declines in the U.S. dollar value of foreign portfolio securities and against increases in the U.S. dollar cost of foreign securities to be acquired. As with other kinds of option transactions, however, the writing of an option on foreign currency will constitute only a partial hedge, up to the amount of the premium received. If an option that the Fund has written is exercised, the Fund seeks to close out an option, the Fund could be required to purchase or sell foreign currencies at disadvantageous exchange rates, thereby incurring losses. The purchase of an option on foreign currency may constitute an effective hedge against exchange rate fluctuations; however, in the event of exchange rate movements adverse to the Fund’s position, the Fund may forfeit the entire amount of the premium plus related transaction costs. Options on foreign currencies may be traded on U.S. and foreign exchanges or over-the-counter. The Fund may purchase call options on currency to seek to increase total return.

Options on currency may also be used for cross-hedging purposes, which involves writing or purchasing options on one currency to seek to hedge against changes in exchange rates for a different currency with a pattern of correlation, or to seek to increase total return when the Fund’s investment adviser anticipates that the currency will appreciate or depreciate in value, but the securities quoted or denominated in that currency do not present attractive investment opportunities and are not included in the Fund’s portfolio.

 

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A currency call option written by the Fund obligates the Fund to sell a specified currency to the holder of the option at a specified price if the option is exercised before the expiration date. A currency put option written by the Fund obligates the Fund to purchase a specified currency from the option holder at a specified price if the option is exercised before the expiration date. The writing of currency options involves a risk that the Fund will, upon exercise of the option, be required to sell currency subject to a call at a price that is less than the currency’s market value or be required to purchase currency subject to a put at a price that exceeds the currency’s market value. Written put and call options on foreign currencies may be covered in a manner similar to written put and call options on securities and securities indices described under “Options on Securities and Securities Indices — Writing Options” above.

The Fund may terminate its obligations under a written call or put option by purchasing an option identical to the one it has written. Such purchases are referred to as “closing purchase transactions.” The Fund may enter into closing sale transactions in order to realize gains or minimize losses on options purchased by the Fund.

The Fund may purchase call options on foreign currency in anticipation of an increase in the U.S. dollar value of currency in which securities to be acquired by the Fund are quoted or denominated. The purchase of a call option would entitle the Fund, in return for the premium paid, to purchase specified currency at a specified price during the option period. The Fund would ordinarily realize a gain if, during the option period, the value of such currency exceeded the sum of the exercise price, the premium paid and transaction costs; otherwise the Fund would realize either no gain or a loss on the purchase of the call option.

The Fund may purchase put options in anticipation of a decline in the U.S. dollar value of the currency in which securities in its portfolio are quoted or denominated (“protective puts”). The purchase of a put option would entitle the Fund, in exchange for the premium paid, to sell specified currency at a specified price during the option period. The purchase of protective puts is usually designed to offset or hedge against a decline in the U.S. dollar value of the Fund’s portfolio securities due to currency exchange rate fluctuations. The Fund would ordinarily realize a gain if, during the option period, the value of the underlying currency decreased below the exercise price sufficiently to more than cover the premium and transaction costs; otherwise the Fund would realize either no gain or a loss on the purchase of the put option. Gains and losses on the purchase of protective put options would tend to be offset by countervailing changes in the value of underlying currency or portfolio securities.

In addition to using options for the hedging purposes described above, the Fund may use options on currency to seek to increase total return. The Fund may write (sell) put and call options on any currency in an attempt to realize greater income than would be realized on portfolio securities transactions alone. However, in writing call options for additional income, the Fund may forego the opportunity to profit from an increase in the market value of the underlying currency. Also, when writing put options, the Fund accepts, in return for the option premium, the risk that it may be required to purchase the underlying currency at a price in excess of the currency’s market value at the time of purchase.

Pooled Investment Vehicles

The Fund may invest in securities of pooled investment vehicles, including other investment companies and exchange traded funds (“ETFs”). The Fund will indirectly bear its proportionate share of any management fees and other expenses paid by pooled investment vehicles in which it invests, in addition to the management fees (and other expenses) paid by the Fund. The Fund’s investments in pooled investment vehicles are subject to statutory limitations prescribed by the Act, including in certain circumstances a prohibition on the Fund acquiring more than 3% of the voting shares of any other investment company, and a prohibition on investing more than 5% of the Fund’s total assets in securities of any one investment company or more than 10% of its total assets in the securities of all investment companies. Many ETFs, however, have obtained exemptive relief from the SEC to permit unaffiliated funds (such as the Fund) to invest in their shares beyond these statutory limits, subject to certain conditions and pursuant to contractual arrangements between the ETFs and the investing funds. The Fund may rely on these exemptive orders in investing in ETFs. Moreover, subject to applicable law and/or pursuant to an exemptive order obtained from the SEC or under an exemptive rule adopted by the SEC, the Fund may invest in investment companies, including ETFs and money market funds, for which the Investment Adviser, or any of its affiliates, serves as investment adviser, administrator and/or distributor. With respect to the Fund’s investments in money market funds, to the extent that the Fund invests in a money market fund for which the Investment Adviser or any of its affiliates acts as investment adviser, the management fees payable by the Fund to the Investment Adviser will, to the extent required by the SEC, be reduced by an amount equal to the Fund’s proportionate share of the management fees paid by such money market fund to its investment adviser. Although the Fund does not expect to do so in the foreseeable future, the Fund is authorized to invest substantially all of its assets in a single open-end investment company or series thereof that has substantially the same investment policies and fundamental restrictions as the Fund. Additionally, to the extent that the Fund serves as an “underlying fund” to another Goldman Sachs Fund, the Fund may invest a percentage of its assets in other investment companies only if those instruments are consistent with applicable law and/or exemptive relief obtained from the SEC.

The Fund may purchase shares of investment companies investing primarily in foreign securities, including “country funds.” Country funds have portfolios consisting primarily of securities of issuers located in specified foreign countries or regions.

 

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ETFs are shares of pooled investment vehicles issuing shares which are traded like traditional equity securities on a stock exchange. An ETF represents a portfolio of securities or other assets, which is often designed to track a particular market segment or index. An investment in an ETF, like one in any pooled investment vehicle, carries risks of its underlying securities or other assets. An ETF may fail to accurately track the returns of the market segment or index that it is designed to track, and the price of an ETF’s shares may fluctuate or lose money. In addition, because they, unlike other pooled investment vehicles, are traded on an exchange, ETFs are subject to the following risks: (i) the market price of the ETF’s shares may trade at a premium or discount to the ETF’s NAV; (ii) an active trading market for an ETF may not develop or be maintained; and (iii) there is no assurance that the requirements of the exchange necessary to maintain the listing of the ETF will continue to be met or remain unchanged. In the event substantial market or other disruptions affecting ETFs should occur in the future, the liquidity and value of the Fund’s shares could also be substantially and adversely affected.

Portfolio Maturity

Dollar-weighted average maturity is derived by multiplying the value of each investment by the time remaining to its maturity, adding these calculations, and then dividing the total by the value of the Fund’s portfolio. An obligation’s maturity is typically determined on a stated final maturity basis, although there are some exceptions. For example, if an issuer of an instrument takes advantage of a maturity-shortening device, such as a call, refunding, or redemption provision, the date on which the instrument is expected to be called, refunded, or redeemed may be considered to be its maturity date. There is no guarantee that the expected call, refund or redemption will occur and the Fund’s average maturity may lengthen beyond an investment adviser’s expectations should the expected call refund or redemption not occur. Similarly, in calculating its dollar-weighted average maturity, the Fund may determine the maturity of a variable or floating rate obligation according to the interest rate reset date, or the date principal can be recovered on demand, rather than the date of ultimate maturity.

Portfolio Turnover

The Fund may engage in active short-term trading to benefit from price disparities among different issues of securities or among the markets for equity securities, or for other reasons. As a result of active management, it is anticipated that the portfolio turnover rate may vary greatly from year to year as well as within a particular year, and may be affected by changes in the holdings of specific issuers, changes in country and currency weightings and cash requirements for redemption of shares. The Fund is not restricted by policy with regard to portfolio turnover and will make changes in its investment portfolio from time to time as business and economic conditions as well as market prices may dictate.

Preferred Stock, Warrants and Stock Purchase Rights

The Fund may invest in preferred stock, warrants and stock purchase rights (or “rights”). Preferred stocks are securities that represent an ownership interest providing the holder with claims on the issuer’s earnings and assets before common stock owners but after bond owners. Unlike debt securities, the obligations of an issuer of preferred stock, including dividend and other payment obligations, may not typically be accelerated by the holders of such preferred stock on the occurrence of an event of default (such as a covenant default or filing of a bankruptcy petition) or other non-compliance by the issuer with the terms of the preferred stock. Often, however, on the occurrence of any such event of default or non-compliance by the issuer, preferred stockholders will be entitled to gain representation on the issuer’s board of directors or increase their existing board representation. In addition, preferred stockholders may be granted voting rights with respect to certain issues on the occurrence of any event of default.

Warrants and other rights are options that entitle the holder to buy equity securities at a specific price for a specific period of time. The Fund will invest in warrants and rights only if such equity securities are deemed appropriate by the Investment Adviser for investment by the Fund. Warrants and rights have no voting rights, receive no dividends and have no rights with respect to the assets of the issuer.

Private Investment in Public Equities (“PIPEs”)

The Investment Adviser may elect to invest in PIPEs and other unregistered or otherwise restricted securities issued by public MLPs and similar entities, including unregistered MLP preferred units. PIPEs involve the direct placement of equity securities to a purchaser such as the Fund. Equity issued in this manner is often unregistered and therefore less liquid than equity issued through a public offering. Such private equity offerings provide issuers greater flexibility in structure and timing as compared to public offerings. The following highlights some of the reasons MLPs choose to issue equity through private placements:

Effective Acquisition Funding Vehicle. MLPs typically distribute all of their available cash at the end of each quarter, and therefore generally finance acquisitions through the issuance of additional equity and debt securities. PIPEs allow MLPs to structure the equity funding to close concurrently with an acquisition, thereby eliminating or reducing the equity funding risk. This avoids equity overhang issues (discussed below) and can ease rating agency concerns over interim excessive leverage associated with an acquisition.

 

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Eliminates or Reduces Equity Overhang Issues. Generally an MLP unit price declines when investors know the MLP will be issuing public equity in the near term. An example of this is when an MLP closes a sizeable acquisition funded under its credit facility or with another form of debt financing. In this situation, equity investors will typically wait for the public offering to provide additional liquidity, and therefore the demand for units is reduced, and the unit price falls. Issuing units through a PIPE in conjunction with the acquisition eliminates this equity overhang.

Broadens Investor Base. Public equity offerings for MLPs are typically allocated primarily to retail investors. Private placements allow issuers to access new pools of equity capital. In addition, institutional investors, such as the Fund, that participate in PIPEs are potential investors for future equity financings.

Greater Structural Flexibility. Certain acquisitions and organic development projects require a more structured form of equity. For example, organic projects that require significant capital expenditures that do not generate near-term cash flow may require a class of equity that does not pay a distribution for a certain period. The public equity market is generally not an efficient venue to raise this type of specialized equity. Given the significant number of organic projects that have been announced by MLPs, the private placement of PIPEs are believed by the Investment Adviser to be likely to remain an important funding component in the MLP sector.

Avoided Cost and Uncertainty of Public Equity Issuance. Some issuers prefer the certainty of a private placement at a specified fixed discount, compared to the uncertainty of a public offering. The underwriting costs of a public equity issuance in the MLP space can significantly reduce gross equity proceeds, and the unit price of the issuance can decline during the marketing of a public deal, resulting in increased cost to an issuer. The cost of a PIPE can be competitive with that of a public issuance while providing greater certainty of funding.

More Expedient Process with Limited Marketing Requirements. Unlike public equity offerings, private placements are typically more time efficient for management teams, with negotiations, due diligence and marketing required only for a small targeted group of sophisticated institutional investors.

Monetizations. Financial sponsors, founding partners and/or parent companies typically own significant stakes in MLPs in the form of subordinated units. As these units are not registered, monetization alternatives are limited. PIPEs provide liquidity in these situations.

Many MLPs rely on the private placement market as a source of equity capital. Given the limitations in raising equity from a predominantly retail investor base and the tax and administrative constraints to significant institutional participation, PIPEs have been a popular financing alternative with many MLPs.

Real Estate Investment Trusts

The Fund may invest in shares of real estate investment trusts (“REITs”). REITs are pooled investment vehicles which invest primarily in real estate or real estate related loans. REITs are generally classified as equity REITs, mortgage REITs or a combination of equity and mortgage REITs. Equity REITs invest the majority of their assets directly in real property and derive income primarily from the collection of rents. Equity REITs can also realize capital gains by selling properties that have appreciated in value. Mortgage REITs invest the majority of their assets in real estate mortgages and derive income from the collection of interest payments. REITs are not taxed on income distributed to shareholders provided they comply with certain requirements under the Code. The Fund will indirectly bear its proportionate share of any expenses paid by REITs in which it invests in addition to the expenses paid by the Fund.

Investing in REITs involves certain unique risks. Equity REITs may be affected by changes in the value of the underlying property owned by such REITs, while mortgage REITs may be affected by the quality of any credit extended. REITs are dependent upon management skills, are not diversified (except to the extent the Code requires), and are subject to the risks of financing projects. REITs are subject to heavy cash flow dependency, default by borrowers, self-liquidation, and the possibilities of failing to qualify for the exemption from tax for distributed income under the Code and failing to maintain their exemptions from the Act. REITs (especially mortgage REITs) are also subject to interest rate risks.

 

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Repurchase Agreements

The Fund may enter into repurchase agreements with eligible counterparties which furnish collateral at least equal in value or market price to the amount of its repurchase obligations. Repurchase agreements involving obligations other than U.S. Government Securities may be subject to special risks and may not have the benefit for certain protections in the event of the counterparty’s insolvency. A repurchase agreement is an arrangement under which the Fund purchases securities and the seller agrees to repurchase the securities within a particular time and at a specified price. Custody of the securities is maintained by the Fund’s custodian (or subcustodian). The repurchase price may be higher than the purchase price, the difference being income to the Fund, or the purchase and repurchase prices may be the same, with interest at a stated rate due to the Fund together with the repurchase price on repurchase. In either case, the income to the Fund is unrelated to the interest rate on the security subject to the repurchase agreement.

For purposes of the Act and generally for tax purposes, a repurchase agreement is deemed to be a loan from the Fund to the seller of the security. For other purposes, it is not always clear whether a court would consider the security purchased by the Fund subject to a repurchase agreement as being owned by the Fund or as being collateral for a loan by the Fund to the seller. In the event of commencement of bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings with respect to the seller of the security before repurchase of the security under a repurchase agreement, the Fund may encounter delay and incur costs before being able to sell the security. Such a delay may involve loss of interest or a decline in value of the security. If the court characterizes the transaction as a loan and the Fund has not perfected a security interest in the security, the Fund may be required to return the security to the seller’s estate and be treated as an unsecured creditor of the seller. As an unsecured creditor, the Fund would be at risk of losing some or all of the principal and interest involved in the transaction.

Apart from the risk of bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings, there is also the risk that the seller may fail to repurchase the security. However, if the market value of the security subject to the repurchase agreement becomes less than the repurchase price (including accrued interest), the Fund will direct the seller of the security to deliver additional securities so that the market value of all securities subject to the repurchase agreement equals or exceeds the repurchase price. Certain repurchase agreements which provide for settlement in more than seven days can be liquidated before the nominal fixed term on seven days or less notice.

The Fund, together with other registered investment companies having advisory agreements with the Investment Adviser or its affiliates, may transfer uninvested cash balances into a single joint account, the daily aggregate balance of which will be invested in one or more repurchase agreements.

Restricted Securities

The Fund may purchase securities and other financial instruments that are not registered or that are offered in an exempt non-public offering (“Restricted Securities”) under the 1933 Act, including securities eligible for resale to “qualified institutional buyers” pursuant to Rule 144A under the 1933 Act. The purchase price and subsequent valuation of Restricted Securities may reflect a discount from the price at which such securities trade when they are not restricted, because the restriction makes them less liquid. The amount of the discount from the prevailing market price is expected to vary depending upon the type of security, the character of the issuer, the party who will bear the expenses of registering the Restricted Securities and prevailing supply and demand conditions. These and other factors discussed in the section above, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in Restricted Securities.

Restructured Investments

Included among the issuers of emerging country debt securities are entities organized and operated solely for the purpose of restructuring the investment characteristics of various securities. These entities are often organized by investment banking firms which receive fees in connection with establishing each entity and arranging for the placement of its securities. This type of restructuring involves the deposit with or purchase by an entity, such as a corporation or trust, or specified instruments, such as Brady Bonds, and the issuance by the entity of one or more classes of securities (“Restructured Investments”) backed by, or representing interests in, the underlying instruments. The cash flow on the underlying instruments may be apportioned among the newly issued Restructured Investments to create securities with different investment characteristics such as varying maturities, payment priorities or investment rate provisions. Because Restructured Investments of the type in which the Fund may invest typically involve no credit enhancement, their credit risk will generally be equivalent to that of the underlying instruments.

The Fund is permitted to invest in a class of Restructured Investments that is either subordinated or unsubordinated to the right of payment of another class. Subordinated Restructured Investments typically have higher yields and present greater risks than unsubordinated Restructured Investments. Although the Fund’s purchases of subordinated Restructured Investments would have a similar economic effect to that of borrowing against the underlying securities, such purchases will not be deemed to be borrowing for purposes of the limitations placed on the extent of the Fund’s assets that may be used for borrowing.

 

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Certain issuers of Restructured Investments may be deemed to be “investment companies” as defined in the Act. As a result, the Fund’s investments in these Restructured Investments may be limited by the restrictions contained in the Act. Restructured Investments are typically sold in private placement transactions, and there currently is no active trading market for most Restructured Investments.

Reverse Repurchase Agreements

The Fund may borrow money by entering into transactions called reverse repurchase agreements. Under these arrangements, the Fund will sell portfolio securities to banks and other financial institutions, with an agreement to repurchase the security on an agreed date, price and interest payment. The Fund may also enter into reverse repurchase agreements involving certain foreign government securities. Reverse repurchase agreements involve the possible risk that the value of portfolio securities the Fund relinquishes may decline below the price the Fund must pay when the transaction closes. Borrowings may magnify the potential for gain or loss on amounts invested resulting in an increase in the speculative character of the Fund’s outstanding shares.

When the Fund enters into a reverse repurchase agreement, it identifies on its books cash or liquid assets that have a value equal to or greater than the repurchase price. The amount of cash or liquid assets so identified is then monitored continuously by its investment adviser to make sure that an appropriate value is maintained. Reverse repurchase agreements are considered to be borrowings under the Act.

Risks of Qualified Financial Contracts

Regulations adopted by federal banking regulators under the Dodd-Frank Act, which are scheduled to take effect throughout 2019, require that certain qualified financial contracts (“QFCs”) with counterparties that are part of U.S. or foreign global systemically important banking organizations be amended to include contractual restrictions on close-out and cross-default rights. QFCs include, but are not limited to, securities contracts, commodities contracts, forward contracts, repurchase agreements, securities lending agreements and swaps agreements, as well as related master agreements, security agreements, credit enhancements, and reimbursement obligations. If a covered counterparty of the Fund or certain of the covered counterparty’s affiliates were to become subject to certain insolvency proceedings, the Fund may be temporarily unable to exercise certain default rights, and the QFC may be transferred to another entity. These requirements may impact the Fund’s credit and counterparty risks.

Short Sales

The Fund may engage in short sales. Short sales are transactions in which the Fund sells a security it does not own in anticipation of a decline in the market value of that security. To complete such a transaction, the Fund must borrow the security to make delivery to the buyer. The Fund then is obligated to replace the security borrowed by purchasing it at the market price at the time of replacement. The price at such time may be more or less than the price at which the security was sold by the Fund. Until the security is replaced, the Fund is required to pay to the lender amounts equal to any dividend which accrues during the period of the loan. To borrow the security, the Fund also may be required to pay a premium, which would increase the cost of the security sold. There will also be other costs associated with short sales.

The Fund will incur a loss as a result of the short sale if the price of the security increases between the date of the short sale and the date on which the Fund replaces the borrowed security. The Fund will realize a gain if the security declines in price between those dates. This result is the opposite of what one would expect from a cash purchase of a long position in a security. The amount of any gain will be decreased, and the amount of any loss increased, by the amount of any premium or amounts in lieu of interest the Fund may be required to pay in connection with a short sale, and will be also decreased by any transaction or other costs.

Until the Fund replaces a borrowed security in connection with a short sale, the Fund will (a) identify on its books cash or liquid assets at such a level that the identified assets plus any amount deposited as collateral will equal the current value of the security sold short or (b) otherwise cover its short position in accordance with applicable law.

There is no guarantee that the Fund will be able to close out a short position at any particular time or at an acceptable price. During the time that the Fund is short a security, it is subject to the risk that the lender of the security will terminate the loan at a time when the Fund is unable to borrow the same security from another lender. If that occurs, the Fund may be “bought in” at the price required to purchase the security needed to close out the short position, which may be a disadvantageous price.

 

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Short Sales Against the Box

The Fund may engage in short sales against the box. In a short sale, the seller sells a borrowed security and has a corresponding obligation to the lender to return the identical security. The seller does not immediately deliver the securities sold and is said to have a short position in those securities until delivery occurs. While a short sale is made by selling a security the seller does not own, a short sale is “against the box” to the extent that the seller contemporaneously owns or has the right to obtain, at no added cost, securities identical to those sold short. It may be entered into by the Fund, for example, to lock in a sales price for a security the Fund does not wish to sell immediately. If the Fund sells securities short against the box, it may protect itself from loss if the price of the securities declines in the future, but will lose the opportunity to profit on such securities if the price rises.

If the Fund effects a short sale of securities at a time when it has an unrealized gain on the securities, it may be required to recognize that gain as if it had actually sold the securities (as a “constructive sale”) on the date it effects the short sale. However, such constructive sale treatment may not apply if the Fund closes out the short sale with securities other than the appreciated securities held at the time of the short sale and if certain other conditions are satisfied. Uncertainty regarding the tax consequences of effecting short sales may limit the extent to which the Fund may effect short sales.

Structured Notes

The Fund may invest in structured notes. In one type of structured note in which the Fund may invest, the issuer of the note will be a highly creditworthy party. The terms of such notes will be in accordance with applicable IRS guidelines. The note will be issued at par value. The amount payable at maturity, early redemption or “knockout” (as defined below) of the note will depend directly on the performance of the S&P GSCI Index. As described more precisely below, the amount payable at maturity will be computed using a formula under which the issue price paid for the note is adjusted to reflect the percentage appreciation or depreciation of the index over the term of the note in excess of a specified interest factor, and an agreed-upon multiple (the “leverage factor”) of three. The note will also bear interest at a floating rate that is pegged to LIBOR. The interest rate will be based generally on the issuer’s funding spread and prevailing interest rates. The interest will be payable at maturity. The issuer of the note will be entitled to an annual fee for issuing the note, which will be payable at maturity, and which may be netted against payments otherwise due under the note. The amount payable at maturity, early redemption or knockout of each note will be calculated by starting with an amount equal to the face amount of the note plus any remaining unpaid interest on the note and minus any accumulated fee amount, and then adding (or subtracting, in the case of a negative number) the amount equal to the product of (i) the percentage increase (or decrease) of the S&P GSCI Index over the applicable period, less a specified interest percentage, multiplied by (ii) the face amount of the note, and by (iii) the leverage factor of three. The holder of the note will have a right to put the note to the issuer for redemption at any time before maturity. The note will become automatically payable (i.e., will “knockout”) if the relevant index declines by 15%. In the event that the index has declined to the knockout level (or below) during any day, the redemption price of the note will be based on the closing index value of the next day. The issuer of the note will receive payment in full of the purchase price of the note substantially contemporaneously with the delivery of the note. The Fund, while holding the note, will not be required to make any payment to the issuer of the note in addition to the purchase price paid for the note, whether as margin, settlement payment, or otherwise, during the life of the note or at maturity. The issuer of the note will not be subject by the terms of the instrument to mark-to-market margining requirements of the CEA. The note will not be marketed as a contract of sale of a commodity for future delivery (or option on such a contract) subject to the CEA.

With respect to a second type of structured note in which the Fund intends to invest, the issuer of the note will be a highly creditworthy party. The term of the note will be for six months. The note will be issued at par value. The amount payable at maturity or early redemption of the note will depend directly on the performance of a specified basket of 6-month futures contracts with respect to all of the commodities in the S&P GSCI Index, with weightings of the different commodities similar to the weightings in the S&P GSCI Index. As described more precisely below, the amount payable at maturity will be computed using a formula under which the issue price paid for the note is adjusted to reflect the percentage appreciation or depreciation of the value of the specified basket of commodities futures over the term of the note in excess of a specified interest factor, and the leverage factor of three, but in no event will the amount payable at maturity be less than 51% of the issue price of the note. The note will also bear interest at a floating rate that is pegged to LIBOR. The interest rate will be based generally on the issuer’s funding spread and prevailing interest rates. The interest will be payable at maturity. The issuer of the note will be entitled to a fee for issuing the note, which will be payable at maturity, and which may be netted against payments otherwise due under the note. The amount payable at maturity or early redemption of each note will be the greater of (i) 51% of the issue price of the note and (ii) the amount calculated by starting with an amount equal to the face amount of the note plus any remaining unpaid interest on the note and minus any accumulated fee amount, and then adding (or subtracting, in the case of a negative number) the amount equal to the product of (A) the percentage increase (or decrease) of the specified basket of commodities futures over the applicable period, less a specified interest percentage, multiplied by (B) the face amount of the note, and by (C) the leverage factor of three. The holder of the note will have a right to put the note to the issuer for redemption at any time before maturity. The issuer of the note will receive payment in full of the purchase price of the note substantially contemporaneously with the

 

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delivery of the note. The Fund, while holding the note, will not be required to make any payment to the issuer of the note in addition to the purchase price paid for the note, whether as margin, settlement payment, or otherwise, during the life of the note or at maturity. The issuer of the note will not be subject by the terms of the instrument to mark-to-market margining requirements of the CEA. The note will not be marketed as a contract of sale of a commodity for future delivery (or option on such a contract) subject to the CEA.

Temporary Investments

The Fund may, for temporary defensive purposes, invest up to 100% of its total assets in: U.S. Government Securities; commercial paper rated at least A-2 by Standard & Poor’s, P-2 by Moody’s or having a comparable credit rating by an NRSRO (or, if unrated, determined by the Investment Adviser to be of comparable credit quality); certificates of deposit; bankers’ acceptances; repurchase agreements; non-convertible preferred stocks and non-convertible corporate bonds with a remaining maturity of less than one year; ETFs and other investment companies; and cash items. When the Fund’s assets are invested in such instruments, the Fund may not be achieving its investment objective.

Trust Preferred Securities

The Fund may invest in trust preferred securities. A trust preferred or capital security is a long dated bond (for example 30 years) with preferred features. The preferred features are that payment of interest can be deferred for a specified period without initiating a default event. From a bondholder’s viewpoint, the securities are senior in claim to standard preferred but are junior to other bondholders. From the issuer’s viewpoint, the securities are attractive because their interest is deductible for tax purposes like other types of debt instruments.

U.S. Government Securities

The Fund may invest in U.S. Government Securities, which are obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises (“U.S. Government Securities”). Some U.S. Government Securities (such as Treasury bills, notes and bonds, which differ only in their interest rates, maturities and times of issuance) are supported by the full faith and credit of the United States. Others, such as obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. Government agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises, are supported either by (i) the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury, (ii) the discretionary authority of the U.S. Government to purchase certain obligations of the issuer or (iii) only the credit of the issuer. The U.S. government is under no legal obligation, in general, to purchase the obligations of its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises. No assurance can be given that the U.S. government will provide financial support to U.S. Government agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises in the future, and the U.S. government may be unable to pay debts when due.

U.S. Government Securities include (to the extent consistent with the Act) securities for which the payment of principal and interest is backed by an irrevocable letter of credit issued by the U.S. Government, or its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises. U.S. Government Securities may also include (to the extent consistent with the Act) participations in loans made to foreign governments or their agencies that are guaranteed as to principal and interest by the U.S. Government or its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises. The secondary market for certain of these participations is extremely limited. These and other factors discussed in the section above, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in these participations.

The Fund may also purchase U.S. Government Securities in private placements and may also invest in separately traded principal and interest components of securities guaranteed or issued by the U.S. Treasury that are traded independently under the separate trading of registered interest and principal of securities program (“STRIPS”). The Fund may also invest in zero coupon U.S. Treasury securities and in zero coupon securities issued by financial institutions which represent a proportionate interest in underlying U.S. Treasury securities.

Inflation-Protected Securities. The Fund may invest in inflation protected securities (“IPS”), including those issued by the U.S. Treasury (“TIPS”) and other U.S. and non-U.S. government agencies and corporations (“CIPS”) whose principal value is periodically adjusted according to the rate of inflation. The interest rate on IPS is fixed at issuance, but over the life of the bond this interest may be paid on an increasing or decreasing principal value that has been adjusted for inflation. Although repayment of the greater of the adjusted or original bond principal upon maturity is guaranteed, the market value of IPS is not guaranteed, and will fluctuate.

The values of IPS generally fluctuate in response to changes in real interest rates, which are in turn tied to the relationship between nominal interest rates and the rate of inflation. If inflation were to rise at a faster rate than nominal interest rates, real interest rates will decline, leading to an increase in the value of IPS. In contrast, if nominal interest rates were to increase at a faster rate than inflation, real interest rates will rise, leading to a decrease in the value of IPS. If inflation is lower than expected during the period the Fund holds IPS, the Fund may earn less on the IPS than on a conventional bond. If interest rates rise due to reasons other than inflation (for example, due to changes in the currency exchange rates), investors in IPS may not be protected to the extent that the increase is not reflected in the bonds’ inflation measure. There can be no assurance that the inflation index for IPS will accurately measure the real rate of inflation in the prices of goods and services.

 

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Any increase in principal value of IPS caused by an increase in the consumer price index is taxable in the year the increase occurs, even though the Fund holding IPS will not receive cash representing the increase at that time. As a result, the Fund could be required at times to liquidate other investments, including when it is not advantageous to do so, in order to satisfy its distribution requirements as a regulated investment company.

If the Fund invests in IPS, it will be required to treat as original issue discount any increase in the principal amount of the securities that occurs during the course of its taxable year. If the Fund purchases such IPS that are issued in stripped from either as stripped bonds or coupons, it will be treated as if it had purchased a newly issued debt instrument having original issue discount.

Because the Fund is required to distribute substantially all of its net investment income (including accrued original issue discount), the Fund’s investment in either zero coupon bonds or IPS may require the Fund to distribute to shareholders an amount greater than the total cash income it actually receives. Accordingly, in order to make the required distributions, the Fund may be required to borrow or liquidate securities.

When-Issued Securities and Forward Commitments

The Fund may purchase securities on a when-issued basis or purchase or sell securities on a forward commitment basis beyond the customary settlement time. These transactions involve a commitment by the Fund to purchase or sell securities at a future date. The price of the underlying securities (usually expressed in terms of yield) and the date when the securities will be delivered and paid for (the settlement date) are fixed at the time the transaction is negotiated. In addition, recently finalized rules of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) include mandatory margin requirements that require the Fund to post collateral in connection with its TBA transactions. There is no similar requirement applicable to the Fund’s TBA counterparties. The required collateralization of TBA trades could increase the cost of TBA transactions to the Fund and impose added operational complexity. When-issued purchases and forward commitment transactions are negotiated directly with the other party, and such commitments are not traded on exchanges. The Fund will generally purchase securities on a when-issued basis or purchase or sell securities on a forward commitment basis only with the intention of completing the transaction and actually purchasing or selling the securities. If deemed advisable as a matter of investment strategy, however, the Fund may dispose of or negotiate a commitment after entering into it. The Fund may also sell securities it has committed to purchase before those securities are delivered to the Fund on the settlement date. The Fund may realize a capital gain or loss in connection with these transactions. For purposes of determining the Fund’s duration, the maturity of when-issued or forward commitment securities will be calculated from the commitment date. The Fund is generally required to identify on its books cash and liquid assets in an amount sufficient to meet the purchase price unless the Fund’s obligations are otherwise covered. Alternatively, the Fund may enter into offsetting contracts for the forward sale of other securities that it owns. Securities purchased or sold on a when- issued or forward commitment basis involve a risk of loss if the value of the security to be purchased declines prior to the settlement date or if the value of the security to be sold increases prior to the settlement date.

Writing and Purchasing Currency Call and Put Options.

The Fund may, to the extent they invest in foreign securities, write covered put and call options and purchase put and call options on foreign currencies for the purpose of protecting against declines in the U.S. dollar value of foreign portfolio securities and against increases in the U.S. dollar cost of foreign securities to be acquired. As with other kinds of option transactions, however, the writing of an option on foreign currency will constitute only a partial hedge, up to the amount of the premium received. If an option that the Fund has written is exercised, the Fund seeks to close out an option, the Fund could be required to purchase or sell foreign currencies at disadvantageous exchange rates, thereby incurring losses. The purchase of an option on foreign currency may constitute an effective hedge against exchange rate fluctuations; however, in the event of exchange rate movements adverse to the Fund’s position, the Fund may forfeit the entire amount of the premium plus related transaction costs. Options on foreign currencies may be traded on U.S. and foreign exchanges or over-the-counter. The Fund may purchase call options on currency to seek to increase total return.

Options on currency may also be used for cross-hedging purposes, which involves writing or purchasing options on one currency to seek to hedge against changes in exchange rates for a different currency with a pattern of correlation, or to seek to increase total return when the Fund’s investment adviser anticipates that the currency will appreciate or depreciate in value, but the securities quoted or denominated in that currency do not present attractive investment opportunities and are not included in the Fund’s portfolio.

 

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A currency call option written by the Fund obligates the Fund to sell a specified currency to the holder of the option at a specified price if the option is exercised before the expiration date. A currency put option written by the Fund obligates the Fund to purchase a specified currency from the option holder at a specified price if the option is exercised before the expiration date. The writing of currency options involves a risk that the Fund will, upon exercise of the option, be required to sell currency subject to a call at a price that is less than the currency’s market value or be required to purchase currency subject to a put at a price that exceeds the currency’s market value. Written put and call options on foreign currencies may be covered in a manner similar to written put and call options on securities and securities indices described under “Options on Securities and Securities Indices — Writing Options” above.

The Fund may terminate its obligations under a written call or put option by purchasing an option identical to the one it has written. Such purchases are referred to as “closing purchase transactions.” The Fund may enter into closing sale transactions in order to realize gains or minimize losses on options purchased by the Fund.

The Fund may purchase call options on foreign currency in anticipation of an increase in the U.S. dollar value of currency in which securities to be acquired by the Fund are quoted or denominated. The purchase of a call option would entitle the Fund, in return for the premium paid, to purchase specified currency at a specified price during the option period. The Fund would ordinarily realize a gain if, during the option period, the value of such currency exceeded the sum of the exercise price, the premium paid and transaction costs; otherwise the Fund would realize either no gain or a loss on the purchase of the call option.

The Fund may purchase put options in anticipation of a decline in the U.S. dollar value of the currency in which securities in its portfolio are quoted or denominated (“protective puts”). The purchase of a put option would entitle the Fund, in exchange for the premium paid, to sell specified currency at a specified price during the option period. The purchase of protective puts is usually designed to offset or hedge against a decline in the U.S. dollar value of the Fund’s portfolio securities due to currency exchange rate fluctuations. The Fund would ordinarily realize a gain if, during the option period, the value of the underlying currency decreased below the exercise price sufficiently to more than cover the premium and transaction costs; otherwise the Fund would realize either no gain or a loss on the purchase of the put option. Gains and losses on the purchase of protective put options would tend to be offset by countervailing changes in the value of underlying currency or portfolio securities.

In addition to using options for the hedging purposes described above, the Fund may use options on currency to seek to increase total return. The Fund may write (sell) put and call options on any currency in an attempt to realize greater income than would be realized on portfolio securities transactions alone. However, in writing call options for additional income, the Fund may forego the opportunity to profit from an increase in the market value of the underlying currency. Also, when writing put options, the Fund accepts, in return for the option premium, the risk that it may be required to purchase the underlying currency at a price in excess of the currency’s market value at the time of purchase.

Special Note Regarding Regulatory Changes and Other Market Events

Federal, state, and foreign governments, regulatory agencies, and self-regulatory organizations may take actions that affect the regulation of the Fund or the instruments in which the Fund invests, or the issuers of such instruments, in ways that are unforeseeable. Future legislation or regulation or other governmental actions could limit or preclude the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective or otherwise adversely impact an investment in the Fund. Furthermore, worsened market conditions, including as a result of U.S. government shutdowns or the perceived creditworthiness of the United States, could have a negative impact on securities markets.

The Fund’s investments, payment obligations and financing terms may be based on floating rates, such as LIBOR, EURIBOR and other similar types of reference rates (each, a “Reference Rate”). On July 27, 2017, the Chief Executive of the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) which regulates LIBOR, announced that the FCA will no longer persuade nor compel banks to submit rates for the calculation of LIBOR and certain other Reference Rates after 2021. Such announcement indicates that the continuation of LIBOR and other Reference Rates on the current basis cannot and will not be guaranteed after 2021. This announcement and any additional regulatory or market changes may have an adverse impact on the Fund’s investments, performance or financial condition. Until then, the Fund may continue to invest in instruments that reference such rates or otherwise use such Reference Rates due to favorable liquidity or pricing.

In advance of 2021, regulators and market participants will seek to work together to identify or develop successor Reference Rates and how the calculation of associated spreads (if any) should be adjusted. Additionally, prior to 2021, it is expected that industry trade associations and participants will focus on the transition mechanisms by which the Reference Rates and spreads (if any) in existing contracts or instruments may be amended, whether through marketwide protocols, fallback contractual provisions, bespoke negotiations or amendments or otherwise. Nonetheless, the termination of certain Reference Rates presents risks to the Fund. At this time, it is not possible to exhaustively identify or predict the effect of any such changes, any establishment of alternative Reference Rates or any other reforms to Reference Rates that may be enacted in the United Kingdom or elsewhere. The elimination of a Reference Rate or any other changes or reforms to the determination or supervision of Reference Rates may affect the value, liquidity or return on certain Fund

 

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investments and may result in costs incurred in connection with closing out positions and entering into new trades, adversely impacting the Fund’s overall financial condition or results of operations. The impact of any successor or substitute Reference Rate, if any, will vary on an investment-by-investment basis, and any differences may be material and/or create material economic mismatches, especially if investments are used for hedging or similar purposes. In addition, although certain Fund investments may provide for a successor or substitute Reference Rate (or terms governing how to determine a successor or substitute Reference Rate) if the Reference Rate becomes unavailable, certain Fund investments may not provide such a successor or substitute Reference Rate (or terms governing how to determine a successor or substitute Reference Rate). Accordingly, there may be disputes as to: (i) any successor or substitute Reference Rate; or (ii) the enforceability of any Fund investment that does not provide such a successor or substitute Reference Rate (or terms governing how to determine a successor or substitute Reference Rate). The Investment Adviser, Goldman Sachs and/or their affiliates may have discretion to determine a successor or substitute Reference Rate, including any price or other adjustments to account for differences between the successor or substitute Reference Rate and the previous rate. The successor or substitute Reference Rate and any adjustments selected may negatively impact a Fund’s investments, performance or financial condition, including in ways unforeseen by the Investment Adviser, Goldman Sachs and/or their affiliates. In addition, any successor or substitute Reference Rate and any pricing adjustments imposed by a regulator or by counterparties or otherwise may adversely affect the Fund’s performance and/or NAV, and may expose the Fund to additional tax, accounting and regulatory risks.

In the aftermath of the 2007-2008 financial crisis, the financial sector experienced reduced liquidity in credit and other fixed income markets, and an unusually high degree of volatility, both domestically and internationally. While entire markets were impacted, issuers that had exposure to the real estate, mortgage and credit markets were particularly affected. The instability in the financial markets led the U.S. government to take a number of unprecedented actions designed to support certain financial institutions and certain segments of the financial markets. For example, the Dodd-Frank Act provides for broad regulation of financial institutions, consumer financial products and services, broker-dealers, over-the-counter derivatives, investment advisers, credit rating agencies and mortgage lending.

Governments or their agencies may also acquire distressed assets from financial institutions and acquire ownership interests in those institutions. The implications of government ownership and disposition of these assets are unclear, and such ownership or disposition may have positive or negative effects on the liquidity, valuation and performance of the Fund’s portfolio holdings.

In addition, global economies and financial markets are becoming increasingly interconnected, and political, economic and other conditions and events (including, but not limited to, natural disasters, pandemics, epidemics, and social unrest) in one country, region, or financial market may adversely impact issuers in a different country, region or financial market. Furthermore, the occurrence of, among other events, natural or man-made disasters, severe weather or geological events, fires, floods, earthquakes, outbreaks of disease (such as COVID-19, avian influenza or H1N1/09), epidemics, pandemics, malicious acts, cyber-attacks, terrorist acts or the occurrence of climate change, may also adversely impact the performance of the Fund. Such events may result in, among other things, closing borders, exchange closures, health screenings, healthcare service delays, quarantines, cancellations, supply chain disruptions, lower consumer demand, market volatility and general uncertainty. Such events could adversely impact issuers, markets and economies over the short- and long-term, including in ways that cannot necessarily be foreseen. The Fund could be negatively impacted if the value of a portfolio holding were harmed by such political or economic conditions or events. Moreover, such negative political and economic conditions and events could disrupt the processes necessary for the Fund’s operations. See “Special Note Regarding Operational, Cyber Security and Litigation Risks” for additional information on operational risks.

Special Note Regarding Operational, Cyber Security and Litigation Risks

An investment in the Fund may be negatively impacted because of the operational risks arising from factors such as processing errors and human errors, inadequate or failed internal or external processes, failures in systems and technology, changes in personnel, and errors caused by third-party service providers or trading counterparties. The use of certain investment strategies that involve manual or additional processing, such as over-the-counter derivatives, increases these risks. Although the Fund attempts to minimize such failures through controls and oversight, it is not possible to identify all of the operational risks that may affect the Fund or to develop processes and controls that completely eliminate or mitigate the occurrence of such failures. The Fund and its shareholders could be negatively impacted as a result.

The Fund is also susceptible to operational and information security risks resulting from cyber-attacks. In general, cyber-attacks result from deliberate attacks, but other events may have effects similar to those caused by cyber-attacks. Cyber-attacks include, among others, stealing or corrupting confidential information and other data that is maintained online or digitally for financial gain, denial-of- service attacks on websites causing operational disruption, and the unauthorized release of confidential information and other data. Cyber-attacks affecting the Fund or its investment adviser, sub-adviser, custodian, transfer agent, intermediary or other third-party service provider may adversely impact the Fund and its shareholders. These cyber-attacks have the ability to cause significant disruptions

 

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and impact business operations; to result in financial losses; to prevent shareholders from transacting business; to interfere with the Fund’s calculation of NAV and to lead to violations of applicable privacy and other laws, regulatory fines, penalties, reputational damage, reimbursement or other compensation costs and/or additional compliance costs. Similar to operational risk in general, the Fund and its service providers, including GSAM, have instituted risk management systems designed to minimize the risks associated with cyber security. However, there is a risk that these systems will not succeed (or that any remediation efforts will not be successful), especially because the Fund does not directly control the risk management systems of the service providers to the Fund, its trading counterparties or the issuers in which the Fund may invest. Moreover, there is a risk that cyber-attacks will not be detected.

The Fund may be subject to third-party litigation, which could give rise to legal liability. These matters involving the Fund may arise from its activities and investments and could have a materially adverse effect on the Fund, including the expense of defending against claims and paying any amounts pursuant to settlements or judgments. There can be no guarantee that these matters will not arise in the normal course of business. If the Fund was to be found liable in any suit or proceeding, any associated damages and/or penalties could have a materially adverse effect on the Fund’s finances, in addition to being materially damaging to its reputation.

INVESTMENT RESTRICTIONS

The investment restrictions set forth below have been adopted by the Trust as fundamental policies that cannot be changed without the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding voting securities (as defined in the Act) of the Fund. The investment objective of the Fund and all other investment policies or practices of the Fund are considered by the Trust not to be fundamental and accordingly may be changed without shareholder approval. For purposes of the Act, a “majority of the outstanding voting securities” means the lesser of the vote of (i) 67% or more of the shares of the Fund present at a meeting, if the holders of more than 50% of the outstanding shares of the Fund are present or represented by proxy, or (ii) more than 50% of the outstanding shares of the Fund.

For purposes of the following limitations (except for the asset coverage requirement with respect to borrowings, which is subject to different requirements under the Act), any limitation which involves a maximum percentage will not be considered violated unless an excess over the percentage occurs immediately after, and is caused by, an acquisition or encumbrance of securities or assets of, or borrowings by, the Fund. With respect to the Fund’s fundamental investment restriction number (3) below, asset coverage of at least 300% (as defined in the Act), inclusive of any amounts borrowed, must be maintained at all times.

As a matter of fundamental policy, the Fund may not:

 

  (1)

Make any investment inconsistent with the Fund’s classification as a diversified company under the Act;

The Fund is classified as a diversified open-end management company under the Act.

 

  (2)

Invest 25% or more of its total assets in the securities of one or more issuers conducting their principal business activities in the same industry (excluding investment companies and the U.S. Government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities). (For the purposes of this restriction, state and municipal governments and their agencies, authorities and instrumentalities are not deemed to be industries; telephone companies are considered to be a separate industry from water, gas or electric utilities; personal credit finance companies and business credit finance companies are deemed to be separate industries; and wholly-owned finance companies are considered to be in the industry of their parents if their activities are primarily related to financing the activities of their parents.) This restriction does not apply to investments in Municipal Securities which have been pre-refunded by the use of obligations of the U.S. Government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities;

 

  (3)

Borrow money, except (a) the Fund may borrow from banks (as defined in the Act) or through reverse repurchase agreements in amounts up to 33-1/3% of its total assets (including the amount borrowed), (b) the Fund may, to the extent permitted by applicable law, borrow up to an additional 5% of its total assets for temporary purposes, (c) the Fund may obtain such short-term credits as may be necessary for the clearance of purchases and sales of portfolio securities, (d) the Fund may purchase securities on margin to the extent permitted by applicable law and (e) the Fund may engage transactions in mortgage dollar rolls which are accounted for as financings;

The following interpretation applies to, but is not part of, this fundamental policy: In determining whether a particular investment in portfolio instruments or participation in portfolio transactions is subject to this borrowing policy, the accounting treatment of such instrument or participation shall be considered, but shall not by itself be determinative. Whether a particular instrument or transaction constitutes a borrowing shall be determined by the Board, after consideration of all of the relevant circumstances.

 

 

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  (4)

Make loans, except through (a) the purchase of debt obligations in accordance with the Fund’s investment objective and policies, (b) repurchase agreements with banks, brokers, dealers and other financial institutions and (c) loans of securities as permitted by applicable law;

 

  (5)

Underwrite securities issued by others, except to the extent that the sale of portfolio securities by the Fund may be deemed to be an underwriting;

 

  (6)

Purchase, hold or deal in real estate, although the Fund may purchase and sell securities that are secured by real estate or interests therein, securities of real estate investment trusts and mortgage-related securities and may hold and sell real estate acquired by the Fund as a result of the ownership of securities;

 

  (7)

Invest in commodities or commodity contracts, except that the Fund may invest in currency and financial instruments and contracts that are commodities or commodity contracts; and

 

  (8)

Issue senior securities to the extent such issuance would violate applicable law.

Notwithstanding any other fundamental investment restriction or policy, the Fund may invest some or all of its assets in a single open-end investment company or series thereof with substantially the same investment objective, restrictions and policies as the Fund. Greater than 25% of the Fund’s total assets may be indirectly exposed to a particular industry through its investment in one or more Underlying Funds (as defined below).

The Fund seeks to achieve its objective by investing in a combination of underlying funds that currently exist or that may become available for investment in the future for which GSAM or an affiliate now or in the future acts as investment adviser, and may also invest in unaffiliated ETFs (collectively, the “Underlying Funds”). The Underlying Funds in which the Fund may invest have adopted certain investment restrictions which may be more or less restrictive than those listed above, thereby allowing the Fund to participate in certain investment strategies indirectly that are prohibited under the fundamental investment restrictions and policies listed above. The investment restrictions of these Underlying Funds are set forth in their respective SAIs.

TRUSTEES AND OFFICERS

The Trust’s Leadership Structure

The business and affairs of the Fund are managed under the direction of the Board of Trustees (the “Board”), subject to the laws of the State of Delaware and the Trust’s Declaration of Trust. The Trustees are responsible for deciding matters of overall policy and reviewing the actions of the Trust’s service providers. The officers of the Trust conduct and supervise the Fund’s daily business operations. Trustees who are not deemed to be “interested persons” of the Trust as defined in the Act are referred to as “Independent Trustees.” Trustees who are deemed to be “interested persons” of the Trust are referred to as “Interested Trustees.” The Board is currently composed of seven Independent Trustees and one Interested Trustee. The Board has selected an Independent Trustee to act as Chair, whose duties include presiding at meetings of the Board and its Committees, except as otherwise specified in the applicable Committee charter documents, and acting as a focal point to address significant issues that may arise between regularly scheduled Board and Committee meetings. In the performance of the Chair’s duties, the Chair will consult with the other Independent Trustees and the Fund’s officers and legal counsel, as appropriate. The Chair may perform other functions as requested by the Board from time to time.

The Board meets as often as necessary to discharge its responsibilities. Currently, the Board conducts regular, in-person meetings at least six times a year, and holds special in-person or telephonic meetings as necessary to address specific issues that require attention prior to the next regularly scheduled meeting. In addition, the Independent Trustees meet at least annually to review, among other things, investment management agreements, distribution (Rule 12b-1) and/or service plans and related agreements, transfer agency agreements and certain other agreements providing for the compensation of Goldman Sachs and/or its affiliates by the Fund, and to consider such other matters as they deem appropriate.

The Board has established five standing committees – Audit, Governance and Nominating, Compliance, Valuation and Contract Review Committees. The Board may establish other committees, or nominate one or more Trustees to examine particular issues related to the Board’s oversight responsibilities, from time to time. Each Committee meets periodically to perform its delegated oversight functions and reports its findings and recommendations to the Board. For more information on the Committees, see the section “STANDING BOARD COMMITTEES,” below.

 

 

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The Trustees have determined that the Trust’s leadership structure is appropriate because it allows the Trustees to effectively perform their oversight responsibilities.

Trustees of the Trust

Information pertaining to the Trustees of the Trust as of April 29, 2020 is set forth below.

Independent Trustees

 

Name, Address

and Age1

  

Position(s)

Held with

the Trust

  

Term of

Office and

Length of

Time Served2

  

Principal Occupation(s) During Past 5 Years

   Number of
Portfolios in
Fund
Complex
Overseen by
Trustee3
   Other
Directorships
Held by
Trustee4

Jessica Palmer

Age: 71

   Chair of the Board of Trustees    Since 2018 (Trustee since 2007)   

Ms. Palmer is retired. She was formerly Consultant, Citigroup Human Resources Department (2007– 2008); Managing Director, Citigroup Corporate and Investment Banking (previously, Salomon Smith Barney/Salomon Brothers) (1984–2006). Ms. Palmer was a Member of the Board of Trustees of Indian Mountain School (private elementary and secondary school) (2004–2009).

 

Chair of the Board of Trustees—Goldman Sachs Trust and Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust.

   103    None

Dwight L. Bush

Age: 63

   Trustee    Since 2020   

Ambassador Bush is President and CEO of D.L. Bush & Associates (a financial advisory and private investment firm) (2002–2014 and 2017–present); and was formerly U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco (2014–2017) and a Member of the Board of Directors of Santander Bank, N.A. (2018– 2019). Previously, Ambassador Bush served as an Advisory Board Member of Goldman Sachs Trust and Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust (October 2019– January 2020).

 

Trustee—Goldman Sachs Trust and Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust.

   103    None

Kathryn A. Cassidy

Age: 66

   Trustee    Since 2015   

Ms. Cassidy is retired. Formerly, she was Advisor to the Chairman (May 2014–December 2014); and Senior Vice President and Treasurer (2008–2014), General Electric Company & General Electric Capital Corporation (technology and financial services companies).

 

Trustee—Goldman Sachs Trust and Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust.    

   103    None

 

B-63


Name, Address

and Age1

  

Position(s)

Held with

the Trust

  

Term of

Office and

Length of

Time Served2

  

Principal Occupation(s) During Past 5 Years

   Number of
Portfolios in
Fund
Complex
Overseen by
Trustee3
   Other
Directorships
Held by
Trustee4

Diana M. Daniels

Age: 70

   Trustee    Since 2007   

Ms. Daniels is retired. Formerly, she was Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, The Washington Post Company (1991–2006). Ms. Daniels is a Trustee Emeritus and serves as a Presidential Councilor of Cornell University (2013– Present); former Member of the Legal Advisory Board, New York Stock Exchange (2003–2006) and of the Corporate Advisory Board, Standish Mellon Management Advisors (2006–2007).

 

Trustee—Goldman Sachs Trust and Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust.

   103    None

Joaquin Delgado

Age: 60

   Trustee    Since 2020   

Dr. Delgado is retired. He is Director, Hexion Inc. (a specialty chemical manufacturer) (2019–present); and Director, Stepan Company (a specialty chemical manufacturer) (2011–present); and was formerly Executive Vice President, Consumer Business Group of 3M Company (July 2016–July 2019); and Executive Vice President, Health Care Business Group of 3M Company (October 2012–July 2016). Previously, Dr. Delgado served as an Advisory Board Member of Goldman Sachs Trust and Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust (October 2019– January 2020).

 

Trustee—Goldman Sachs Trust and Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust.

   103    Stepan
Company (a
specialty
chemical
manufacturer)

Roy W. Templin

Age: 59

   Trustee    Since 2013   

Mr. Templin is retired. He is Director, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. (a designer and manufacturer of ceiling, wall and suspension system solutions) (2016–Present); and was formerly Chairman of the Board of Directors, Con-Way Incorporated (a transportation, logistics and supply chain management service company) (2014–2015); Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Whirlpool Corporation (an appliance manufacturer and marketer) (2004–2012). Previously, Mr. Templin served as an Advisory Board Member of Goldman Sachs Trust and Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust (June 2013 – October 2013).

 

Trustee—Goldman Sachs Trust and Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust.    

   103    Armstrong
World
Industries,
Inc. (a
ceiling, wall
and
suspension
systems
solutions
manufacturer)

 

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Name, Address

and Age1

  

Position(s)

Held with

the Trust

  

Term of

Office and

Length of

Time Served2

  

Principal Occupation(s) During Past 5 Years

   Number of
Portfolios in
Fund
Complex
Overseen by
Trustee3
   Other
Directorships Held
by Trustee4

Gregory G. Weaver

Age: 68

   Trustee    Since 2015   

Mr. Weaver is retired. He is Director, Verizon Communications Inc. (2015–Present); and was formerly Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte & Touche LLP (a professional services firm) (2001–2005 and 2012–2014); and Member of the Board of Directors, Deloitte & Touche LLP (2006–2012).

 

Trustee—Goldman Sachs Trust and Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust.

   103    Verizon

Communications

Inc.

Interested Trustee
James A. McNamara* Age: 57    President and Trustee    Since 2007   

Advisory Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2018– Present); Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2000–December 2017); Director of Institutional Fund Sales, GSAM (April 1998– December 2000); and Senior Vice President and Manager, Dreyfus Institutional Service Corporation (January 1993–April 1998).

 

President and Trustee—Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

   168    None

 

*

Mr. McNamara is considered to be an “Interested Trustee” because he holds positions with Goldman Sachs and owns securities issued by The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Mr. McNamara holds comparable positions with certain other companies of which Goldman Sachs, GSAM or an affiliate thereof is the investment adviser, administrator and/or distributor.

1 

Each Trustee may be contacted by writing to the Trustee, c/o Goldman Sachs, 200 West Street, New York, New York, 10282, Attn: Caroline L. Kraus.

2 

Subject to such policies as may be adopted by the Board from time-to-time, each Trustee holds office for an indefinite term, until the earliest of: (a) the election of his or her successor; (b) the date the Trustee resigns or is removed by the Board or shareholders, in accordance with the Trust’s Declaration of Trust; or (c) the termination of the Trust. The Board has adopted policies which provide that (a) no Trustee shall hold office for more than 15 years and (b) a Trustee shall retire as of December 31st of the calendar year in which he or she reaches his or her 74th birthday, unless a waiver of such requirements shall have been adopted by a majority of the other Trustees. These policies may be changed by the Trustees without shareholder vote.

3 

The Goldman Sachs Fund Complex includes certain other companies listed above for each respective Trustee. As of April 29, 2020, Goldman Sachs Trust consisted of 90 portfolios (88 of which offered shares to the public); Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust consisted of 13 portfolios; Goldman Sachs Trust II consisted of 19 portfolios (17 of which offered shares to the public); Goldman Sachs ETF Trust consisted of 42 portfolios (21 of which offered shares to the public); and Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund, Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund, Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund each consisted of one portfolio. Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund did not offer shares to the public.

4 

This column includes only directorships of companies required to report to the SEC under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (i.e., “public companies”) or other investment companies registered under the Act.

 

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The significance or relevance of a Trustee’s particular experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills is considered by the Board on an individual basis. Experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills common to all Trustees include the ability to critically review, evaluate and discuss information provided to them and to interact effectively with the other Trustees and with representatives of the Investment Adviser and its affiliates, other service providers, legal counsel and the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm, the capacity to address financial and legal issues and exercise reasonable business judgment, and a commitment to the representation of the interests of the Fund and its shareholders. The Governance and Nominating Committee’s charter contains certain other factors that are considered by the Governance and Nominating Committee in identifying and evaluating potential nominees to serve as Independent Trustees. Based on each Trustee’s experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills, considered individually and with respect to the experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills of other Trustees, the Board has concluded that each Trustee should serve as a Trustee. Below is a brief discussion of the experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills of each individual Trustee as of April 29, 2020 that led the Board to conclude that such individual should serve as a Trustee.

Jessica Palmer. Ms. Palmer has served as a Trustee since 2007 and Chair of the Board since 2018. Ms. Palmer worked at Citigroup Corporate and Investment Banking (previously, Salomon Smith Barney/Salomon Brothers) for over 20 years, where she was a Managing Director. While at Citigroup Corporate and Investment Banking, Ms. Palmer was Head of Global Risk Management, Chair of the Global Commitment Committee, Co-Chair of International Investment Banking (New York) and Head of Fixed Income Capital Markets. Ms. Palmer was also a member of the Management Committee and Risk Management Operating Committee of Citigroup, Inc. Ms. Palmer was also Assistant Vice President of the International Division at Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Ms. Palmer was also a member of the Board of Trustees of a private elementary and secondary school. Based on the foregoing, Ms. Palmer is experienced with financial and investment matters.

Dwight L. Bush. Ambassador Bush has served as a Trustee since 2020. Ambassador Bush also serves as President and CEO of D.L. Bush & Associates, a financial advisory and private investment firm. From 2014 to 2017, he served as U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco. Prior to his service as U.S. Ambassador, he established and served as CEO of Urban Trust Bank and UTB Education Finance, LLC, an integrated provider of education credit services. Ambassador Bush was previously Vice President of Corporate Development for SLM Corporation (commonly known as Sallie Mae). Formerly, he served as a member of the Board of Directors of Santander Bank, N.A., JER Investors Trust, a specialty real estate finance company, and as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of CASI Pharmaceuticals (formerly Entremed, Inc.) where he was Chairman of the Audit Committee. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for several philanthropic organizations, including the Middle East Investment Initiative and the American Council of Young Political Leaders, and has served on the executive committee of Cornell University. Ambassador Bush previously served on the Trust’s Advisory Board. Based on the foregoing, Ambassador Bush is experienced with financial and investment matters.

Kathryn A. Cassidy. Ms. Cassidy has served as a Trustee since 2015. Previously, Ms. Cassidy held several senior management positions at General Electric Company (“GE”) and General Electric Capital Corporation (“GECapital”) and its subsidiaries, where she worked for 35 years, most recently as Advisor to the Chairman of GECapital and Senior Vice President and Treasurer of GE and GECapital. As Senior Vice President and Treasurer, Ms. Cassidy led capital markets and treasury matters of multiple initial public offerings. Ms. Cassidy was responsible for managing global treasury operations, including global funding, hedging, derivative accounting and execution, cash and liquidity management, cash operations and treasury services, and global regulatory compliance and reporting for liquidity, derivatives, market risk and counterparty credit risk. Ms. Cassidy also serves as a Director of buildOn, a not-for- profit organization, where she serves as Chair of the Finance Committee. Based on the foregoing, Ms. Cassidy is experienced with financial and investment matters.

Diana M. Daniels. Ms. Daniels has served as a Trustee since 2007. Ms. Daniels also serves as a Trustee Emeritus and Presidential Councilor of Cornell University. Ms. Daniels held several senior management positions at The Washington Post Company and its subsidiaries, where she worked for 29 years. While at The Washington Post Company, Ms. Daniels served as Vice President, General Counsel, Secretary to the Board of Directors and Secretary to the Audit Committee. Previously, Ms. Daniels served as Vice President and General Counsel of Newsweek, Inc. Ms. Daniels has also served as Vice Chair and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of Cornell University and as a member of the Corporate Advisory Board of Standish Mellon Management Advisors and of the Legal Advisory Board of New York Stock Exchange. Ms. Daniels is also a member of the American Law Institute and of the Advisory Council of the Inter-American Press Association. Based on the foregoing, Ms. Daniels is experienced with legal, financial and investment matters.

 

B-66


Joaquin Delgado. Dr. Delgado has served as a Trustee since 2020. Dr. Delgado is a member of the Board of Directors for Stepan Company, a publicly-traded specialty chemical manufacturer, and Hexion Inc., a privately held specialty chemical manufacturer. Previously, Dr. Delgado held several senior management positions at 3M Company, where he worked for over 30 years, most recently as Executive Vice President of 3M Company’s Consumer Business Group. As Executive Vice President, Vice President, and General Manager at 3M Company, Dr. Delgado directed mergers and acquisitions worldwide, and was responsible for managing global operations in specialized markets such as semiconductors, consumer electronics, communications, medical and office supplies and software. Dr. Delgado also serves as a Director of MacPhail Center for Music, a not-for-profit organization. Dr. Delgado previously served on the Trust’s Advisory Board. Based on the foregoing, Dr. Delgado is experienced with financial and investment matters.

Roy W. Templin. Mr. Templin has served as a Trustee since 2013. Mr. Templin is a member of the Board of Directors of Armstrong World Industries, Inc., a ceiling, wall and suspension system solutions manufacturer, where he serves as Chair of the Finance Committee and a member of the Nominating and Governance Committee, Management Development and Compensation Committee and Audit Committee. Previously, Mr. Templin served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Con-Way Incorporated, a transportation, logistics and supply-chain management services company, prior to its sale to XPO Logistics, Inc. in 2015. Mr. Templin held a number of senior management positions at Whirlpool Corporation, an appliance manufacturer and marketer, including Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Vice President and Corporate Controller there. At Whirlpool, Mr. Templin served on the Executive Committee and was responsible for all aspects of finance globally, including treasury, accounting, risk management, investor relations, internal auditing, tax and facilities. Prior to joining Whirlpool, Mr. Templin served in several roles at Kimball International, a furniture and electronic assemblies manufacturer, including Vice President of Finance and Chief Accounting Officer. Mr. Templin was also a Director of Corporate Finance for Cummins, Inc., a diesel engine manufacturer, a Director of Financial Development at NCR Corporation, a computer hardware and electronics company, and a member of the audit staff of Price Waterhouse (now PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP). Mr. Templin is a certified public accountant and a certified management accountant. Based on the foregoing, Mr. Templin is experienced with accounting, financial and investment matters.

Gregory G. Weaver. Mr. Weaver has served as a Trustee since 2015. Mr. Weaver has been designated as the Board’s “audit committee financial expert” given his extensive accounting and finance experience. Mr. Weaver also serves as a Director of Verizon Communications Inc., where he serves as Chair of the Audit Committee. Previously, Mr. Weaver was a partner with Deloitte & Touche LLP for 30 years. He was the firm’s first chairman and chief executive officer from 2001–2005, and was elected to serve a second term (2012–2014). While serving as chairman at Deloitte & Touche LLP, Mr. Weaver led the audit and enterprise risk services practice, overseeing all operations, strategic positioning, audit quality, and talent matters. Mr. Weaver also served as a member of the firm’s Board of Directors for six years where he served on the Governance Committee and Partner Earnings and Benefits Committee and was chairman of the Elected Leaders Committee and Strategic Investment Committee. Mr. Weaver is also a Board member and Audit Committee chair of the YMCA of Westfield, New Jersey. Mr. Weaver has also served as President of the Council of Boy Scouts of America in Long Rivers, Connecticut, President of A Better Chance in Glastonbury, Connecticut, as a member of the Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council and as a board member of the Stan Ross Department of Accountancy, Baruch College. Based on the foregoing, Mr. Weaver is experienced with accounting, financial and investment matters.

James A. McNamara. Mr. McNamara has served as a Trustee and President of the Trust since 2007 and has served as an officer of the Trust since 2001. Mr. McNamara is an Advisory Director to Goldman Sachs. Prior to retiring as Managing Director at Goldman Sachs in 2017, Mr. McNamara was head of Global Third Party Distribution at GSAM and was previously head of U.S. Third Party Distribution. Prior to that role, Mr. McNamara served as Director of Institutional Fund Sales. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Mr. McNamara was Vice President and Manager at Dreyfus Institutional Service Corporation. Based on the foregoing, Mr. McNamara is experienced with financial and investment matters.

 

B-67


Officers of the Trust

Information pertaining to the officers of the Trust as of December 14, 2020 is set forth below.

 

Name, Age and Address

  

Position(s) Held

with the Trust

  

Term of Office and

Length of Time Served1

  

Principal Occupation(s) During Past 5 Years

James A. McNamara

200 West Street

New York, NY 10282

Age: 58

  

Trustee and

President

   Since 2007   

Advisory Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2018 – Present); Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2000 – December 2017); Director of Institutional Fund Sales, GSAM (April 1998 – December 2000); and Senior Vice President and Manager, Dreyfus Institutional Service Corporation (January 1993 – April 1998).

 

President and Trustee—Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

Joseph F. DiMaria

30 Hudson Street

Jersey City, NJ 07302

Age: 52

   Treasurer, Principal Financial Officer and Principal Accounting Officer    Since 2017 (Treasurer and Principal Financial Officer since 2019)   

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (November 2015 – Present) and Vice President – Mutual Fund Administration, Columbia Management Investment Advisers, LLC (May 2010 – October 2015).

 

Treasurer, Principal Financial Officer and Principal Accounting Officer—Goldman Sachs Trust (previously Assistant Treasurer (2016)); Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust (previously Assistant Treasurer (2016)); Goldman Sachs Trust II (previously Assistant Treasurer (2017)); Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund (previously Assistant Treasurer (2017)); Goldman Sachs ETF Trust (previously Assistant Treasurer (2017)); Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

Julien Yoo

200 West Street

New York, NY 10282

Age: 49

   Chief Compliance Officer   

Since 2019

  

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2020–Present); Vice President, Goldman Sachs (December 2014–December 2019); and Vice President, Morgan Stanley Investment Management (2005–2010).

 

Chief Compliance Officer—Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc.; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit II LLC; Goldman Sachs Middle Market Lending Corp.; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

Peter W. Fortner
30 Hudson Street Jersey City, NJ 07302

Age: 62

   Assistant Treasurer    Since 2000   

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (July 2000–Present); Principal Accounting Officer, Commerce Bank Mutual Fund Complex (2008–Present); and Treasurer of Goldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund (2019–Present).

 

Assistant Treasurer—Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

 

B-68


Name, Age and Address

  

Position(s) Held

with the Trust

  

Term of Office and

Length of Time Served1

  

Principal Occupation(s) During Past 5 Years

Allison Fracchiolla

30 Hudson Street

Jersey City, NJ 07302

Age: 37

   Assistant Treasurer    Since 2014   

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (January 2013–Present).

 

Assistant Treasurer—Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; and Goldman Sachs ETF Trust.

Tyler Hanks

222 S. Main St

Salt Lake City, UT 84101

Age: 38

   Assistant Treasurer    Since 2019   

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (January 2016—Present); and Associate, Goldman Sachs (January 2014—January 2016).

 

Assistant Treasurer—Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

Kirsten Frivold Imohiosen

200 West Street

New York, NY 10282

Age: 50

   Assistant Treasurer    Since 2019   

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2018–Present); and Vice President, Goldman Sachs (May 1999–December 2017).

 

Assistant Treasurer—Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc.; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit II LLC; Goldman Sachs Middle Market Lending Corp.; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

Steven Z. Indich

30 Hudson Street

Jersey City, NJ 07302

Age: 51

   Assistant Treasurer    Since 2019   

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (February 2010 – Present).

 

Assistant Treasurer—Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc.; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit II LLC; Goldman Sachs Middle Market Lending Corp.; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

Carol Liu

30 Hudson Street

Jersey City, NJ 07302

Age: 45

   Assistant Treasurer    Since 2019   

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (October 2017 – Present); Tax Director, The Raine Group LLC (August 2015 – October 2017); and Tax Director, Icon Investments LLC (January 2012 – August 2015).

 

Assistant Treasurer—Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc.; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit II LLC; Goldman Sachs Middle Market Lending Corp.; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

 

B-69


Name, Age and Address

  

Position(s) Held

with the Trust

  

Term of Office and

Length of Time Served1

  

Principal Occupation(s) During Past 5 Years

Christopher Bradford

30 Hudson Street

Jersey City, NJ 07302

Age: 39

   Vice President    Since 2020   

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (January 2014–Present).

 

Vice President—Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund.

Jesse Cole

71 South Wacker Drive

Chicago, IL 60606

Age: 57

   Vice President    Since 1998   

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (December 2006 – Present); Vice President, GSAM (June 1998 – Present); and Vice President, AIM Management Group, Inc. (investment adviser) (April 1996 – June 1998).

 

Vice President—Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; and Goldman Sachs Trust II.

Miriam L. Cytryn

200 West Street

New York, NY 10282

Age: 62

   Vice President    Since 2008   

Vice President, GSAM (2008 – Present); Vice President of Divisional Management, Investment Management Division (2007 – 2008); Vice President and Chief of Staff, GSAM US Distribution (2003 – 2007); and Vice President of Employee Relations, Goldman Sachs (1996 – 2003).

 

Vice President—Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; and Goldman Sachs Trust II.

Frank Murphy

200 West Street

New York, NY 10282

Age: 46

   Vice President    Since 2019   

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (2015 – Present); Vice President, Goldman Sachs (2003 – 2014); Associate, Goldman Sachs (2001 – 2002); and Analyst, Goldman Sachs (1999 – 2001).

 

Vice President—Goldman Sachs Trust; and Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust.

Patrick Hyland

200 West Street

New York, NY 10282

Age: 46

   Vice President    Since 2019   

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (2010 – Present).

 

Vice President—Goldman Sachs Trust; and Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust.

Emily Stecher

200 West Street

New York, NY 10282

Age: 33

   Vice President    Since 2020   

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2020–Present); Vice President, Goldman Sachs (January 2015–December 2019).

 

Vice President—Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund.

 

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Name, Age and Address

  

Position(s) Held

with the Trust

  

Term of Office and

Length of Time Served1

  

Principal Occupation(s) During Past 5 Years

Caroline L. Kraus

200 West Street

New York, NY 10282

Age: 43

   Secretary    Since 2012   

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2016–Present); Vice President, Goldman Sachs (August 2006–December 2015); Senior Counsel, Goldman Sachs (January 2020–Present); Associate General Counsel, Goldman Sachs (2012–December 2019); Assistant General Counsel, Goldman Sachs (August 2006–December 2011); and Associate, Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP (2002–2006).

 

Secretary—Goldman Sachs Trust (previously Assistant Secretary (2012)); Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust (previously Assistant Secretary (2012)); Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc.; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit II LLC; Goldman Sachs Middle Market Lending Corp.; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

David A. Fishman

200 West Street
New York, NY 10282

Age: 56

   Assistant Secretary    Since 2001   

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (December 2001 – Present); and Vice President, Goldman Sachs (1997 – December 2001).

 

Assistant Secretary—Goldman Sachs Trust; and Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust.

Robert Griffith

200 West Street

New York, NY 10282

Age: 46

   Assistant Secretary    Since 2011   

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (August 2011 – Present); Associate General Counsel, Goldman Sachs (December 2014 – Present); Assistant General Counsel, Goldman Sachs (August 2011 – December 2014); Vice President and Counsel, Nomura Holding America, Inc. (2010 – 2011); and Associate, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP (2005 – 2010).

 

Assistant Secretary—Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

Shaun Cullinan

200 West Street

New York, NY 10282

Age: 40

   Assistant Secretary    Since 2018   

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (2018 – Present); Vice President, Goldman Sachs (2009 – 2017); Associate, Goldman Sachs (2006 – 2008); Analyst, Goldman Sachs (2004 – 2005).

 

Assistant Secretary—Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; and Goldman Sachs Trust II.

 

1 

Officers hold office at the pleasure of the Board of Trustees or until their successors are duly elected and qualified. Each officer holds comparable positions with certain other companies of which Goldman Sachs, GSAM or an affiliate thereof is the investment adviser, administrator and/or distributor.

 

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Standing Board Committees

The Audit Committee oversees the audit process and provides assistance to the Board with respect to fund accounting, tax compliance and financial statement matters. In performing its responsibilities, the Audit Committee selects and recommends annually to the Board an independent registered public accounting firm to audit the books and records of the Trust for the ensuing year, and reviews with the firm the scope and results of each audit. All of the Independent Trustees serve on the Audit Committee and Mr. Weaver serves as Chair of the Audit Committee. The Audit Committee met five times during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019.

The Governance and Nominating Committee has been established to: (i) assist the Board in matters involving mutual fund governance, which includes making recommendations to the Board with respect to the effectiveness of the Board in carrying out its responsibilities in governing the Fund and overseeing its management; (ii) select and nominate candidates for appointment or election to serve as Independent Trustees and work to retain high-performing Independent Trustees; and (iii) advise the Board on ways to improve its effectiveness. All of the Independent Trustees serve on the Governance and Nominating Committee. The Governance and Nominating Committee held three meetings during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019. As stated above, each Trustee holds office for an indefinite term until the occurrence of certain events. In filling Board vacancies, the Governance and Nominating Committee will consider nominees recommended by shareholders. Nominee recommendations should be submitted to the Trust at its mailing address stated in the Fund’s Prospectuses and should be directed to the attention of the Goldman Sachs Trust Governance and Nominating Committee.

The Compliance Committee has been established for the purpose of overseeing the compliance processes: (i) of the Fund; and (ii) insofar as they relate to services provided to the Fund, of the Fund’s Investment Adviser, Distributor, administrator (if any), and Transfer Agent, except that compliance processes relating to the accounting and financial reporting processes, and certain related matters, are overseen by the Audit Committee. In addition, the Compliance Committee provides assistance to the full Board with respect to compliance matters. The Compliance Committee met five times during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019. All of the Independent Trustees serve on the Compliance Committee.

The Valuation Committee is authorized to act for the Board in connection with the valuation of portfolio securities held by the Fund in accordance with the Trust’s Valuation Procedures. Messrs. McNamara and DiMaria serve on the Valuation Committee. The Valuation Committee met twelve times during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019.

The Contract Review Committee has been established for the purpose of overseeing the processes of the Board for reviewing and monitoring performance under the Fund’s investment management, distribution, transfer agency and certain other agreements with the Fund’s Investment Adviser and its affiliates. The Contract Review Committee is also responsible for overseeing the Board’s processes for considering and reviewing performance under the operation of the Fund’s distribution, service, shareholder administration and other plans, and any agreements related to the plans, whether or not such plans and agreements are adopted pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the Act. The Contract Review Committee also provides appropriate assistance to the Board in connection with the Board’s approval, oversight and review of the Fund’s other service providers including, without limitation, the Fund’s custodian/fund accounting agent, sub-transfer agents, professional (legal and accounting) firms and printing firms. The Contract Review Committee met two times during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019. All of the Independent Trustees serve on the Contract Review Committee.

Risk Oversight

The Board is responsible for the oversight of the activities of the Fund, including oversight of risk management. Day-to-day risk management with respect to the Fund is the responsibility of GSAM or other service providers (depending on the nature of the risk), subject to supervision by GSAM. The risks of the Fund include, but are not limited to, liquidity risk, investment risk, compliance risk, operational risk, reputational risk, credit risk and counterparty risk. Each of GSAM and the other service providers have their own independent interest in risk management and their policies and methods of risk management may differ from the Fund and each other’s in the setting of priorities, the resources available or the effectiveness of relevant controls. As a result, the Board recognizes that it is not possible to identify all of the risks that may affect the Fund or to develop processes and controls to eliminate or mitigate their occurrence or effects, and that some risks are simply beyond the control of the Fund or GSAM, its affiliates or other service providers.

 

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The Board effectuates its oversight role primarily through regular and special meetings of the Board and Board committees. In certain cases, risk management issues are specifically addressed in reports, presentations and discussions. For example, on an annual basis, GSAM will provide the Board with a written report that addresses the operation, adequacy and effectiveness of the Trust’s liquidity risk management program, which is designed to assess and manage the Fund’s liquidity risk. GSAM also has a risk management team that assists GSAM in managing investment risk. Representatives from the risk management team meet regularly with the Board to discuss their analysis and methodologies. In addition, investment risk is discussed in the context of regular presentations to the Board on Fund strategy and performance. Other types of risk are addressed as part of presentations on related topics (e.g. compliance policies) or in the context of presentations focused specifically on one or more risks. The Board also receives reports from GSAM management on operational risks, reputational risks and counterparty risks relating to the Fund.

Board oversight of risk management is also performed by various Board committees. For example, the Audit Committee meets with both the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm and GSAM’s internal audit group to review risk controls in place that support the Fund as well as test results, and the Compliance Committee meets with the CCO and representatives of GSAM’s compliance group to review testing results of the Fund’s compliance policies and procedures and other compliance issues. Board oversight of risk is also performed as needed between meetings through communications between GSAM and the Board. The Board may, at any time and in its discretion, change the manner in which it conducts risk oversight. The Board’s oversight role does not make the Board a guarantor of the Fund’s investments or activities.

Trustee Ownership of Fund Shares

The following table shows the dollar range of shares beneficially owned by each Trustee in the Fund and other portfolios of the

Goldman Sachs Fund Complex as of December 31, 2019, unless otherwise noted.

 

Name of Trustee

   Dollar Range of
Equity Securities in the Fund1
   Aggregate Dollar Range of
Equity Securities in All
Portfolios in Fund Complex
Overseen By Trustee

Jessica Palmer

   None    Over $100,000

Dwight L. Bush2

   None    None

Kathryn A. Cassidy

   None    Over $100,000

Diana M. Daniels

   None    Over $100,000

Joaquin Delgado2

   None    None

James A. McNamara

   None    Over $100,000

Roy W. Templin

   None    Over $100,000

Gregory G. Weaver

   None    Over $100,000

 

1 

Includes the value of shares beneficially owned by each Trustee in the Fund.

2 

Ambassador Bush and Dr. Delgado began serving effective January 23, 2020.

As of April 1, 2020, the Trustees and Officers of the Trust as a group owned less than 1% of the outstanding shares of beneficial interest of each class of the Fund.

Board Compensation

Each Independent Trustee is compensated with a unitary annual fee for his or her services as a Trustee of the Trust and as a member of the Governance and Nominating Committee, Compliance Committee, Contract Review Committee, and Audit Committee. The Chair and “audit committee financial expert” receive additional compensation for their services. The Independent Trustees are also reimbursed for reasonable travel expenses incurred in connection with attending meetings. The Trust may also pay the reasonable incidental costs of a Trustee to attend training or other types of conferences relating to the investment company industry.

 

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The following table sets forth certain information with respect to the compensation of each Trustee of the Trust for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019:

Trustee Compensation

 

Name of Trustee

   Aggregate
Compensation
from the Fund
     Pension or Retirement
Benefits Accrued as Part
of the Trust’s Expenses
     Total Compensation
From Fund Complex
(including the  Fund)5
 

Jessica Palmer1

   $ 3,971      $ 0        498,000  

Dwight L. Bush2

     661        0        83,000  

Kathryn A. Cassidy

     2,648        0        332,000  

Diana M. Daniels

     2,648        0        332,000  

Joaquin Delgado2

     661        0        83,000  

James A. McNamara3

     —          —          —    

Roy W. Templin

     2,648        0        332,000  

Gregory G. Weaver4

     3,078        0        386,000  

 

1 

Includes compensation as Board Chair.

2 

Includes compensation Ambassador Bush and Dr. Delgado received as Advisory Board Members during the fiscal year. Ambassador Bush and Dr. Delgado began serving as Advisory Board Members effective October 16, 2019 and as Trustees effective January 23, 2020.

3 

Mr. McNamara is an Interested Trustee, and as such, receives no compensation from the Fund or the Goldman Sachs Fund Complex.

4 

Includes compensation as “audit committee financial expert,” as defined in Item 3 of Form N-CSR.

5 

Represents fees paid to each Trustee during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019 from the Goldman Sachs Fund Complex.

Miscellaneous

The Trust, the Investment Adviser and principal underwriter have adopted codes of ethics under Rule 17j-1 of the Act that permit personnel subject to their particular codes of ethics to invest in securities, including securities that may be purchased or held by the Fund.

MANAGEMENT SERVICES

As stated in the Fund’s Prospectuses, GSAM, 200 West Street, New York, New York 10282 serves as Investment Adviser to the Fund. GSAM is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. and an affiliate of Goldman Sachs. See “Service Providers” in the Fund’s Prospectuses for a description of the Investment Adviser’s duties to the Fund.

Founded in 1869, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a publicly-held financial holding company and a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm. Goldman Sachs is a leader in developing portfolio strategies and in many fields of investing and financing, participating in financial markets worldwide and serving individuals, institutions, corporations and governments. Goldman Sachs is also among the principal market sources for current and thorough information on companies, industrial sectors, markets, economies and currencies, and trades and makes markets in a wide range of equity and debt securities 24 hours a day. The firm is headquartered in New York with offices in countries throughout the world. It has trading professionals throughout the United States, as well as in London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Seoul, Sao Paulo and other major financial centers around the world. The active participation of Goldman Sachs in the world’s financial markets enhances its ability to identify attractive investments. Goldman Sachs has agreed to permit the Fund to use the name “Goldman Sachs” or a derivative thereof as part of the Fund’s name for as long as the Fund’s Management Agreement (as described below) is in effect.

The Investment Adviser oversees the provision of investment advisory and portfolio management services to the Fund, including developing the Fund’s investment program. The Global Portfolio Solutions group (“GPS”) is responsible for the Fund’s asset allocations. GPS utilizes a proprietary asset allocation model that provides estimations of medium- and long-term risks, returns, and correlations across a large number of asset classes and investment strategies as an input to its multi-asset class allocation work for a diverse set of clients globally. For all its clients, and with respect to the Fund, GPS applies a risk-based approach to asset allocation that draws from both fundamental and quantitative disciplines with the intention of dynamically accessing a diversified set of risks and returns in a

 

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market cycle-aware manner. The Fund’s management agreement (the “Management Agreement”) provides that GSAM, in its capacity as Investment Adviser, may render similar services to others so long as the services under the Management Agreement are not impaired thereby. The Fund’s Management Agreement was most recently approved by the Trustees of the Trust, including a majority of the Trustees of the Trust who are not parties to such agreement or “interested persons” (as such term is defined in the Act) of any party thereto (the “non-interested Trustees”), on June 11-12, 2019. The Management Agreement was approved by the initial sole shareholder of the Fund prior to the Fund’s commencement of operations. A discussion regarding the Trustees’ basis for approving the Management Agreement for the Fund is available in the Fund’s semi-annual report dated June 30, 2019.

The Management Agreement will remain in effect until June 30, 2020 and will continue in effect with respect to the Fund from year to year thereafter provided such continuance is specifically approved at least annually by (i) the vote of a majority of the Fund’s outstanding voting securities or a majority of the Trustees of the Trust, and (ii) the vote of a majority of the non-interested Trustees of the Trust, cast in person at a meeting called for the purpose of voting on such approval.

The Management Agreement will terminate automatically if assigned (as defined in the Act). The Management Agreement is also terminable at any time without penalty by the Trustees of the Trust or by vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund on 60 days’ written notice to the Investment Adviser or by the Investment Adviser on 60 days’ written notice to the Trust.

Pursuant to the Management Agreement, the Investment Adviser is entitled to receive the fees set forth below, payable monthly based on the Fund’s average daily net assets. Also included below is the actual management fee rate paid by the Fund (after reflection of any management fee waivers, as indicated in the Fund’s prospectuses) for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019. The Actual Rate may not correlate to the Contractual Rate as a result of the management fee waiver that may be in effect from time to time. The Investment Adviser may waive a portion of its management fee payable by the Fund in an amount equal to any management fees it earns as an investment adviser to any of the affiliated funds in which the Fund invests.

 

     Contractual Rate     Actual Rate for the Fiscal Year
Ended December 31, 2019
 

Goldman Sachs Dynamic Global Equity Fund

     0.15     0.15

For the fiscal years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, the amount of fees incurred by the Fund under the Management Agreement was as follows:

 

     Fiscal Year Ended      Fiscal Year Ended      Fiscal Year Ended  
     December 31, 2019      December 31, 2018      December 31, 2017  

Goldman Sachs Dynamic Global Equity Fund

   $ 938,879      $ 516,081      $ 527,089  

Unless required to be performed by others pursuant to agreements with the Fund, the Investment Adviser also performs certain administrative services for the Fund under the Management Agreement. Such administrative services include, subject to the general supervision of the Trustees of the Trust, (i) providing supervision of all aspects of the Fund’s non-investment operations; (ii) providing the Fund with personnel to perform such executive, administrative and clerical services as are reasonably necessary to provide effective administration of the Fund; (iii) arranging for, at the Fund’s expense, the preparation of all of the Fund’s required tax returns, the preparation and submission of reports to existing shareholders, the periodic updating of the Fund’s Prospectuses and SAI, and the preparation of reports filed with the SEC and other regulatory authorities; (iv) maintaining all of the Fund’s records; and (v) providing the Fund with adequate office space and all necessary office equipment and services.

Legal Proceedings. On October 22, 2020, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. announced a settlement of matters involving 1Malaysia Development Bhd. (1MDB), a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, with the United States Department of Justice as well as criminal and civil authorities in the United Kingdom, Singapore and Hong Kong. Further information regarding the 1MDB settlement can be found at https://www.goldmansachs.com/media-relations/press-releases/current/goldman-sachs-2020-10-22.html. The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. previously entered into a settlement agreement with the Government of Malaysia and 1MDB to resolve all criminal and regulatory proceedings in Malaysia relating to 1MDB.

The Investment Adviser, Goldman Sachs and certain of their affiliates have received exemptive relief from the SEC to permit them to continue serving as investment adviser and principal underwriter for U.S.-registered investment companies.

Portfolio Managers — Other Accounts Managed by the Portfolio Managers

The following table discloses other accounts within each type of category listed below for which the portfolio managers are jointly and primarily responsible for day to day portfolio management, as of December 31, 2019, unless otherwise noted.

 

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For each portfolio manager listed below, the total number of accounts managed is a reflection of accounts within the strategy they oversee or manage, as well as accounts which participate in the sector in which they manage. There are multiple portfolio managers involved with each account.

 

     Number of Other Accounts Managed and Total Assets by Account
Type
     Number of Accounts and Total Assets for Which Advisory Fee is
Performance Based
 
   Registered
Investment

Companies
     Other Pooled
Investment

Vehicles
     Other Accounts      Registered
Investment
Companies
     Other Pooled
Investment Vehicles
     Other Accounts  

Name of

Portfolio

Manager

   Number
of

Accounts
     Assets
Managed
     Number
of

Accounts
     Assets
Managed
     Number
of

Accounts
     Assets
Managed
     Number
of

Accounts
     Assets
Managed
     Number
of

Accounts
     Assets
Managed
     Number
of

Accounts
     Assets
Managed
 

Neill

Nuttall

     22      $ 8,563.8        17      $ 6,242.4        72      $ 101,854.8        0      $ —          0      $ -2         $ 3,836.1  

Christopher

Lvoff

     25      $ 25,662.2        7      $ 2,339.5        2      $ 1,177.0        0      $ —          0      $ —          0      $ —    

Assets are preliminary, in millions of USD, as of December 31, 2019.

Conflicts of Interest. The Investment Adviser’s portfolio managers are often responsible for managing the Fund as well as other accounts, including proprietary accounts, separate accounts and other pooled investment vehicles, such as unregistered hedge funds. A portfolio manager may manage a separate account or other pooled investment vehicle which may have materially higher fee arrangements than the Fund and may also have a performance-based fee. The side-by-side management of these funds may raise potential conflicts of interest relating to cross trading, the allocation of investment opportunities and the aggregation and allocation of trades.

The Investment Adviser has a fiduciary responsibility to manage all client accounts in a fair and equitable manner. The Investment Adviser seeks to provide best execution of all securities transactions and aggregate and then allocate securities to client accounts in a fair and timely manner. To this end, the Investment Adviser has developed policies and procedures designed to mitigate and manage the potential conflicts of interest that may arise from side-by-side management. In addition, the Investment Adviser and the Fund have adopted policies limiting the circumstances under which cross-trades may be effected between the Fund and another client account. The Investment Adviser conducts periodic reviews of trades for consistency with these policies. For more information about conflicts of interests that may arise in connection with the portfolio managers’ management of the Fund’s investments and the investments of other accounts, see “POTENTIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST.”

Portfolio Managers — Compensation

Compensation for portfolio managers of the Investment Adviser is comprised of a base salary and year-end discretionary variable compensation. The base salary is fixed from year to year. Year-end discretionary variable compensation is primarily a function of each portfolio manager’s individual performance and his or her contribution to overall team performance; the performance of GSAM and Goldman Sachs; the team’s net revenues for the past year which in part is derived from advisory fees, and for certain accounts, performance-based fees; and anticipated compensation levels among competitor firms. Portfolio managers are rewarded, in part, for their delivery of investment performance, which is reasonably expected to meet or exceed the expectations of clients and fund shareholders in terms of: excess return over an applicable benchmark, peer group ranking, risk management and factors specific to certain funds such as yield or regional focus. Performance is judged over 1-, 3- and 5-year time horizons.

For compensation purposes, the Fund’s benchmark is the MSCI ACWI Index.

 

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The discretionary variable compensation for portfolio managers is also significantly influenced by various factors, including: (1) effective participation in team research discussions and process; and (2) management of risk in alignment with the targeted risk parameters and investment objective of the Fund. Other factors may also be considered including: (1) general client/shareholder orientation and (2) teamwork and leadership.

As part of their year-end discretionary variable compensation and subject to certain eligibility requirements, portfolio managers may receive deferred equity-based and similar awards, in the form of: (1) shares of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (restricted stock units); and, (2) for certain portfolio managers, performance-tracking (or “phantom”) shares of the Fund or multiple funds. Performance-tracking shares are designed to provide a rate of return (net of fees) equal to that of the Fund(s) that a portfolio manager manages, or one or more other eligible funds, as determined by senior management, thereby aligning portfolio manager compensation with fund shareholder interests. The awards are subject to vesting requirements, deferred payment and clawback and forfeiture provisions. GSAM, Goldman Sachs or their affiliates expect, but are not required to, hedge the exposure of the performance-tracking shares of a Fund by, among other things, purchasing shares of the relevant Fund(s).

Other Compensation. In addition to base salary and year-end discretionary variable compensation, the Investment Adviser has a number of additional benefits in place including (1) a 401(k) program that enables employees to direct a percentage of their base salary and bonus income into a tax-qualified retirement plan; and (2) investment opportunity programs in which certain professionals may participate subject to certain eligibility requirements.

Portfolio Managers — Portfolio Managers’ Ownership of Securities in the Fund

The following table shows the portfolio managers’ ownership of shares, including those beneficially owned as well as those owned pursuant to the deferred compensation plan discussed above, of the Fund as of June 30, 2020:

 

Name of Portfolio Manager

   Dollar Range of Equity Securities Beneficially
Owned by Portfolio Manager

Neill Nuttall

   None

Christopher Lvoff

   None

Distributor and Transfer Agent

Distributor. Goldman Sachs, 200 West Street, New York, New York 10282, serves as the exclusive distributor of shares of the Fund pursuant to a “best efforts” arrangement as provided by a distribution agreement with the Trust on behalf of the Fund. Shares of the Fund are offered and sold on a continuous basis by Goldman Sachs, acting as agent. Pursuant to the distribution agreement, after the Prospectuses and periodic reports have been prepared, set in type and mailed to shareholders, Goldman Sachs will pay for the printing and distribution of copies thereof used in connection with the offering to prospective investors. Goldman Sachs will also pay for other supplementary sales literature and advertising costs. Goldman Sachs may enter into sales agreements with certain Intermediaries to solicit subscriptions for Class A, Class C, Class R, Investor, Class R6 and Class P Shares of the Fund. Goldman Sachs receives a portion of the sales charge imposed on the sale, in the case of Class A Shares, or redemption in the case of Class A and Class C Shares, of such Fund shares.

Goldman Sachs retained approximately the following combined commissions on sales of Class A and Class C Shares during the fiscal years ended December 31:

 

     2019      2018      2017  

Goldman Sachs Dynamic Global Equity Fund

   $ 8,776        10,292        9,988  

Dealer Reallowances. Class A Shares of the Fund are sold subject to a front-end sales charge, as described in the applicable Prospectus and in this SAI in the section “SHARES OF THE TRUST.” Goldman Sachs may pay commissions to Intermediaries that sell Class A Shares of the Fund in the form of a “reallowance” of all or a portion of the sales charge paid on the purchase of those shares. Goldman Sachs reallows the following amounts, expressed as a percentage of each Portfolio’s offering price with respect to purchases of Class A Shares under $50,000:

 

     Dealer Reallowance as
Percentage of
Offering Price
 

Goldman Sachs Dynamic Global Equity Fund

     6.50

Dealer allowances may be changed periodically. During special promotions, the entire sales charge may be reallowed to Intermediaries. Intermediaries to whom substantially the entire sales charge is reallowed may be deemed to be “underwriters” under the 1933 Act.

 

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Transfer Agent. Goldman Sachs, 71 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60606, also serves as the Trust’s transfer and dividend disbursing agent. Under its transfer agency agreement with the Trust, Goldman Sachs has undertaken with the Trust with respect to the Fund to: (i) record the issuance, transfer and redemption of shares; (ii) provide purchase and redemption confirmations and quarterly statements, as well as certain other statements; (iii) provide certain information to the Trust’s custodian and the relevant sub-custodian in connection with redemptions; (iv) provide dividend crediting and certain disbursing agent services; (v) maintain shareholder accounts; (vi) provide certain state Blue Sky and other information; (vii) provide shareholders and certain regulatory authorities with tax-related information; (viii) respond to shareholder inquiries; and (ix) render certain other miscellaneous services. For its transfer agency and dividend disbursing agent services, Goldman Sachs is entitled to receive a fee equal, on an annualized basis, to 0.03% of average daily net assets with respect to the Fund’s Class R6 and Class P Shares, 0.04% of average daily net assets with respect to the Fund’s Institutional and Service Shares and 0.17% of average daily net assets with respect to the Fund’s Class A, Class C, Class R and Investor Shares. Goldman Sachs may pay to certain intermediaries who perform transfer agent services to shareholders a networking or sub- transfer agent fee. These payments will be made from the transfer agency fees noted above and in the Prospectuses.

As compensation for the services rendered to the Trust by Goldman Sachs as Transfer Agent and the assumption by Goldman Sachs of the expenses related thereto, Goldman Sachs received fees for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017 from the Fund as follows under the fee schedules then in effect:

 

     2019*      2018*      2017**  

Goldman Sachs Dynamic Global Equity Fund

        

Class A Shares

   $ 265,470      $ 250,071      $ 244,124  

Class C Shares

   $ 37,090      $ 96,825        131,167  

Institutional Shares

   $ 6,433      $ 29,498        55,355  

Service Shares

   $ 234      $ 261        241  

Investor Shares

   $ 8,939      $ 11,025        10,940  

Class R Shares

   $ 9,976      $ 9,583        7,937  

Class R6 Shares

   $ 92,448      $ 150        27  

Class P Shares***

   $ 35,194      $ 19,497        —    

 

*

Prior to July 1, 2019, the fee for transfer agent and dividend disbursing agent services with respect to Class A, Class C, Investor and Class R Shares was 0.18%.

**

Prior to July 28, 2017, the fee for transfer agent and dividend disbursing agent services with respect to Class A, Class C, Investor and Class R Shares was 0.19% and with respect to Class R6 Shares was 0.02%.

***

Class P Shares commenced operations on April 17, 2018.

The Trust’s distribution and transfer agency agreements each provide that Goldman Sachs may render similar services to others so long as the services Goldman Sachs provides thereunder to the Fund are not impaired thereby. Such agreements also provide that the Trust will indemnify Goldman Sachs against certain liabilities.

 

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Expenses

The Trust, on behalf of the Fund, is responsible for the payment of the Fund’s respective expenses. The expenses include, without limitation, the fees payable to the Investment Adviser, service fees and shareholder administration fees paid to Intermediaries, the fees and expenses payable to the Trust’s custodian and sub-custodians, transfer agent fees and expenses, pricing service fees and expenses, brokerage fees and commissions, filing fees for the registration or qualification of the Trust’s shares under federal or state securities laws, expenses of the organization of the Fund, fees and expenses incurred by the Trust in connection with membership in investment company organizations including, but not limited to, the Investment Company Institute, taxes, interest, costs of liability insurance, fidelity bonds or indemnification, any costs, expenses or losses arising out of any liability of, or claim for damages or other relief asserted against, the Trust for violation of any law, legal, tax and auditing fees and expenses (including the cost of legal and certain accounting services rendered by employees of Goldman Sachs or its affiliates with respect to the Trust), expenses of preparing and setting in type Prospectuses, SAIs, proxy material, reports and notices and the printing and distributing of the same to the Trust’s shareholders and regulatory authorities, shareholder expenses, any expenses assumed by the Fund pursuant to its distribution and service plans, compensation and expenses of its Independent Trustees, the fees and expenses of pricing services and extraordinary expenses, if any, incurred by the Trust. Except for fees and expenses under any service plan, shareholder administration plan, or distribution and service plan applicable to a particular class and transfer agency fees and expenses, all Fund expenses are borne on a non-class specific basis.

The imposition of the Investment Adviser’s fees, as well as other operating expenses, will have the effect of reducing the total return to investors. From time to time, the Investment Adviser may waive receipt of its fees and/or voluntarily assume certain expenses of the Fund, which would have the effect of lowering the Fund’s overall expense ratio and increasing total return to investors at the time such amounts are waived or assumed, as the case may be.

As of April 29, 2020, the Investment Adviser has agreed to reduce or limit “Other Expenses” of the Fund (excluding acquired (underlying) fund fees and expenses, transfer agency fees and expenses, service fees and shareholder administration fees, taxes, interest, brokerage fees, expenses of shareholder meetings, litigation and indemnification, and extraordinary expenses) to 0.004% of the Fund’s average daily net assets through at least April 29, 2021, and prior to such date, the Investment Adviser may not terminate the arrangement without the approval of the Board of Trustees. The expense limitation may be modified or terminated by the Investment Adviser at its discretion and without shareholder approval after such date, although the Investment Adviser does not presently intend to do so. The Fund’s “Other Expenses” may be further reduced by any custody and transfer agency fee credits received by the Fund.

Such reductions or limits, if any, are calculated monthly on a cumulative basis during the Fund’s fiscal year.

Reimbursement

For the fiscal years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, the amounts of certain “Other Expenses” of the Fund then in existence were reduced or otherwise limited by the Investment Adviser as follows under the expense limitations with the Fund that were then in effect:

 

 

     2019      2018      2017  

Goldman Sachs Dynamic Global Equity Fund

   $ 475,282        252,185        290,992  

Custodian and Sub-Custodians

State Street, One Lincoln Street, Boston, MA 02111, is the custodian of the Trust’s portfolio securities and cash. State Street also maintains the Trust’s accounting records. State Street may appoint domestic and foreign sub-custodians and use depositories from time to time to hold certain securities and other instruments purchased by the Trust in foreign countries and to hold cash and currencies for the Trust.

Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, 101 Seaport Boulevard, Suite 500, Boston, Massachusetts 02210 is the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm. In addition to audit services, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP provides assistance on certain non-audit matters.

 

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POTENTIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

 

General Categories of Conflicts Associated with the Fund

Goldman Sachs (which, for purposes of this “POTENTIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST” section, shall mean, collectively, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., the Investment Adviser and their affiliates, directors, partners, trustees, managers, members, officers and employees) is a worldwide, full-service investment banking, broker-dealer, asset management and financial services organization and a major participant in global financial markets. As such, it provides a wide range of financial services to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and individuals. Goldman Sachs acts as broker-dealer, investment adviser, investment banker, underwriter, research provider, administrator, financier, adviser, market maker, trader, prime broker, derivatives dealer, clearing agent, lender, counterparty, agent, principal, distributor, investor or in other commercial capacities for accounts or companies or affiliated or unaffiliated investment funds (including pooled investment vehicles and private funds). In those and other capacities, Goldman Sachs advises and deals with clients and third parties in all markets and transactions and purchases, sells, holds and recommends a broad array of investments, including securities, derivatives, loans, commodities, currencies, credit default swaps, indices, baskets and other financial instruments and products, for its own account and for the accounts of clients and of its personnel. In addition, Goldman Sachs has direct and indirect interests in the global fixed income, currency, commodity, equities, bank loan and other markets. In certain cases, the Investment Adviser causes the Fund to invest in products and strategies sponsored, managed or advised by Goldman Sachs or in which Goldman Sachs has an interest, either directly or indirectly, or otherwise restricts the Fund from making such investments, as further described herein. In this regard, Goldman Sachs’ activities and dealings with other clients and third parties may affect the Fund in ways that may disadvantage the Fund and/or benefit Goldman Sachs or other Accounts.

In addition, the Investment Adviser’s activities on behalf of certain other entities that are not investment advisory clients of the Investment Adviser create conflicts of interest between such entities, on the one hand, and Accounts (including the Fund), on the other hand, that are the same as or similar to the conflicts that arise between the Fund and other Accounts, as described herein. In managing conflicts of interest that arise as a result of the foregoing, the Investment Adviser generally will be subject to fiduciary requirements. For purposes of this “POTENTIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST” section, “Funds” shall mean, collectively, the Fund and any of the other Goldman Sachs Funds, and “Accounts” shall mean Goldman Sachs’ own accounts, accounts in which personnel of Goldman Sachs have an interest, accounts of Goldman Sachs’ clients, including separately managed accounts (or separate accounts), and investment vehicles that Goldman Sachs sponsors, manages or advises, including the Fund.

The conflicts herein do not purport to be a complete list or explanation of the conflicts associated with the financial or other interests the Investment Adviser or Goldman Sachs may have now or in the future. Additional information about potential conflicts of interest regarding the Investment Adviser and Goldman Sachs is set forth in the Investment Adviser’s Form ADV. A copy of Part 1 and Part 2A of the Investment Adviser’s Form ADV is available on the SEC’s website (www.adviserinfo.sec.gov).

The Sale of Fund Shares and the Allocation of Investment Opportunities

Sales Incentives and Related Conflicts Arising from Goldman Sachs’ Financial and Other Relationships with Intermediaries

Goldman Sachs and its personnel, including employees of the Investment Adviser, receive benefits and earn fees and compensation for services provided to Accounts (including the Funds) and in connection with the distribution of the Funds. Any such fees and compensation are generally paid directly or indirectly out of the fees payable to the Investment Adviser in connection with the management of such Accounts (including the Funds). Moreover, Goldman Sachs and its personnel, including employees of the Investment Adviser, have relationships (both involving and not involving the Funds, and including without limitation placement, brokerage, advisory and board relationships) with distributors, consultants and others who recommend, or engage in transactions with or for, the Funds. Such distributors, consultants and other parties may receive compensation from Goldman Sachs or the Funds in connection with such relationships. As a result of these relationships, distributors, consultants and other parties have conflicts that create incentives for them to promote the Funds.

To the extent permitted by applicable law, Goldman Sachs and the Funds have in the past made, and may in the future make, payments to authorized dealers and other financial intermediaries and to salespersons to promote the Funds. These payments may be made out of Goldman Sachs’ assets or amounts payable to Goldman Sachs. These payments create an incentive for such persons to highlight, feature or recommend the Funds.

 

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Allocation of Investment Opportunities Among the Funds and Other Accounts

The Investment Adviser manages or advises multiple Accounts (including Accounts in which Goldman Sachs and its personnel have an interest) that have investment objectives that are the same or similar to the Funds and that seek to make or sell investments in the same securities or other instruments, sectors or strategies as the Funds. This creates potential conflicts, particularly in circumstances where the availability or liquidity of such investment opportunities is limited (e.g., in local and emerging markets, high yield securities, fixed income securities, regulated industries, small capitalization, direct or indirect investments in private investment funds, investments in master limited partnerships in the oil and gas industry and initial public offerings/new issues).

Accounts (including the Funds) may invest in other Accounts (including the Funds) at or near the establishment of such Accounts, which may facilitate the Accounts achieving a specified size or scale.

The Investment Adviser does not receive performance-based compensation in respect of its investment management activities on behalf of the Funds, but may simultaneously manage Accounts for which the Investment Adviser receives greater fees or other compensation (including performance-based fees or allocations) than it receives in respect of the Funds. The simultaneous management of Accounts that pay greater fees or other compensation and the Funds creates a conflict of interest as the Investment Adviser has an incentive to favor Accounts with the potential to receive greater fees when allocating resources, services, functions or investment opportunities among Accounts. For instance, the Investment Adviser will be faced with a conflict of interest when allocating scarce investment opportunities given the possibly greater fees from Accounts that pay performance-based fees. To address these types of conflicts, the Investment Adviser has adopted policies and procedures under which it will allocate investment opportunities in a manner that it believes is consistent with its obligations and fiduciary duties as an investment adviser. However, the availability, amount, timing, structuring or terms of an investment available to the Funds differ from, and performance may be lower than, the investments and performance of other Accounts in certain cases.

To address these potential conflicts, the Investment Adviser has developed allocation policies and procedures that provide that the Investment Adviser’s personnel making portfolio decisions for Accounts will make investment decisions for, and allocate investment opportunities among, such Accounts consistent with the Investment Adviser’s fiduciary obligations. These policies and procedures may result in the pro rata allocation (on a basis determined by the Investment Adviser) of limited opportunities across eligible Accounts managed by a particular portfolio management team, but in other cases such allocation may not be pro rata.

Allocation-related decisions for the Funds and other Accounts are made by reference to one or more factors. Factors may include: the Account’s portfolio and its investment horizons and objectives (including with respect to portfolio construction), guidelines and restrictions (including legal and regulatory restrictions affecting certain Accounts or affecting holdings across Accounts); client instructions; strategic fit and other portfolio management considerations, including different desired levels of exposure to certain strategies; the expected future capacity of the Funds and the applicable Accounts; limits on the Investment Adviser’s brokerage discretion; cash and liquidity needs and other considerations; the availability (or lack thereof) of other appropriate or substantially similar investment opportunities; and differences in benchmark factors and hedging strategies among Accounts. Suitability considerations, reputational matters and other considerations may also be considered.

In a case in which one or more Accounts are intended to be the Investment Adviser’s primary investment vehicles focused on, or to receive priority with respect to, a particular trading strategy, other Accounts (including the Funds) may not have access to such strategy or may have more limited access than would otherwise be the case. To the extent that such Accounts are managed by areas of Goldman Sachs other than the Investment Adviser, such Accounts will not be subject to the Investment Adviser’s allocation policies. Investments by such Accounts may reduce or eliminate the availability of investment opportunities to, or otherwise adversely affect, the Fund. Furthermore, in cases in which one or more Accounts are intended to be the Investment Adviser’s primary investment vehicles focused on, or receive priority with respect to, a particular trading strategy or type of investment, such Accounts have specific policies or guidelines with respect to Accounts or other persons receiving the opportunity to invest alongside such Accounts with respect to one or more investments (“Co-Investment Opportunities”). As a result, certain Accounts or other persons will receive allocations to, or rights to invest in, Co-Investment Opportunities that are not available generally to the Funds.

In addition, in some cases the Investment Adviser makes investment recommendations to Accounts that make investment decisions independently of the Investment Adviser. In circumstances in which there is limited availability of an investment opportunity, if such Accounts invest in the investment opportunity at the same time as, or prior to, a Fund, the availability of the investment opportunity for the Fund will be reduced irrespective of the Investment Adviser’s policies regarding allocations of investments.

 

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The Investment Adviser, from time to time, develops and implements new trading strategies or seeks to participate in new trading strategies and investment opportunities. These strategies and opportunities are not employed in all Accounts or employed pro rata among Accounts where they are used, even if the strategy or opportunity is consistent with the objectives of such Accounts. Further, a trading strategy employed for a Fund that is similar to, or the same as, that of another Account may be implemented differently, sometimes to a material extent. For example, a Fund may invest in different securities or other assets, or invest in the same securities and other assets but in different proportions, than another Account with the same or similar trading strategy. The implementation of the Fund’s trading strategy depends on a variety of factors, including the portfolio managers involved in managing the trading strategy for the Account, the time difference associated with the location of different portfolio management teams, and the factors described above and in Item 6 (“PERFORMANCE-BASED FEES AND SIDE-BY-SIDE MANAGEMENT—Side-by-Side Management of Advisory Accounts; Allocation of Opportunities”) of the Investment Adviser’s Form ADV.

During periods of unusual market conditions, the Investment Adviser may deviate from its normal trade allocation practices. For example, this may occur with respect to the management of unlevered and/or long-only Accounts that are typically managed on a side-by-side basis with levered and/or long-short Accounts.

The Investment Adviser and the Funds may receive notice of, or offers to participate in, investment opportunities from third parties for various reasons. The Investment Adviser in its sole discretion will determine whether a Fund will participate in any such investment opportunities and investors should not expect that the Fund will participate in any such investment opportunities unless the opportunities are received pursuant to contractual requirements, such as preemptive rights or rights offerings, under the terms of the Fund’s investments. Some or all Funds may, from time to time, be offered investment opportunities that are made available through Goldman Sachs businesses outside of the Investment Adviser, including, for example, interests in real estate and other private investments. In this regard, a conflict of interest exists to the extent that Goldman Sachs controls or otherwise influences the terms and pricing of such investments and/or retains other benefits in connection therewith. However, Goldman Sachs businesses outside of the Investment Adviser are under no obligation or other duty to provide investment opportunities to the Funds, and generally are not expected to do so. Further, opportunities sourced within particular portfolio management teams within the Investment Adviser may not be allocated to Accounts (including the Funds) managed by such teams or by other teams. Opportunities not allocated (or not fully allocated) to the Funds or other Accounts managed by the Investment Adviser may be undertaken by Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser), including for Goldman Sachs Accounts, or made available to other Accounts or third parties, and the Funds will not receive any compensation related to such opportunities. Additional information about the Investment Adviser’s allocation policies is set forth in Item 6 (“PERFORMANCE-BASED FEES AND SIDE-BY-SIDE MANAGEMENT—Side-by-Side Management of Advisory Accounts; Allocation of Opportunities”) of the Investment Adviser’s Form ADV.

As a result of the various considerations above, there will be cases in which certain Accounts (including Accounts in which Goldman Sachs and personnel of Goldman Sachs have an interest) receive an allocation of an investment opportunity at times that the Funds do not, or when the Funds receive an allocation of such opportunities but on different terms than other Accounts (which may be less favorable). The application of these considerations may cause differences in the performance of different Accounts that employ strategies the same or similar to those of the Funds.

Multiple Accounts (including the Funds) may participate in a particular investment or incur expenses applicable in connection with the operation or management of the Accounts, or otherwise may be subject to costs or expenses that are allocable to more than one Account (which may include, without limitation, research expenses, technology expenses, expenses relating to participation in bondholder groups, restructurings, class actions and other litigation, and insurance premiums). The Investment Adviser may allocate investment-related and other expenses on a pro rata or different basis. Certain Accounts are, by their terms or by determination of the Investment Adviser, on a case-by-case basis, not responsible for their share of such expenses, and, in addition, the Investment Adviser has agreed with certain Accounts to cap the amount of expenses (or the amount of certain types of expenses) borne by such Accounts, which results in such Accounts not bearing the full share of expenses they would otherwise have borne as described above. As a result, certain Accounts are responsible for bearing a different or greater amount of expenses, while other Accounts do not bear any, or do not bear their full share, of such expenses. The Investment Adviser may bear any such expenses on behalf of certain Accounts and not for others, as it determines in its sole discretion.

 

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Accounts will generally incur expenses with respect to the consideration and pursuit of transactions that are not ultimately consummated (“broken-deal expenses”). Examples of broken-deal expenses include (i) research costs, (ii) fees and expenses of legal, financial, accounting, consulting or other advisers (including the Investment Adviser or its affiliates) in connection with conducting due diligence or otherwise pursuing a particular non-consummated transaction, (iii) fees and expenses in connection with arranging financing for a particular non-consummated transaction, (iv) travel, entertainment and overtime meal and transportation costs, (v) deposits or down payments that are forfeited in connection with, or amounts paid as a penalty for, a particular non-consummated transaction and (vi) other expenses incurred in connection with activities related to a particular non-consummated transaction.

The Investment Adviser has adopted a policy relating to the allocation of broken-deal expenses among Accounts (including the Funds) and other potential investors. Pursuant to the policy, broken-deal expenses generally will be allocated among Accounts in the manner that the Investment Adviser determines to be fair and equitable, which will be pro rata or on a different basis.

Goldman Sachs’ Financial and Other Interests May Incentivize Goldman Sachs to Promote the Sale of Fund Shares

Goldman Sachs and its personnel have interests in promoting sales of Fund shares, and the compensation from such sales may be greater than the compensation relating to sales of interests in other Accounts. Therefore, Goldman Sachs and its personnel may have a financial interest in promoting Fund shares over interests in other Accounts.

Management of the Funds by the Investment Adviser

Considerations Relating to Information Held by Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs has established certain information barriers and other policies to address the sharing of information between different businesses within Goldman Sachs. As a result of information barriers, the Investment Adviser generally will not have access, or will have limited access, to certain information and personnel in other areas of Goldman Sachs relating to business transactions for clients (including transactions in investing, banking, prime brokerage and certain other areas), and generally will not manage the Funds with the benefit of information held by such other areas. Goldman Sachs, due to its access to and knowledge of funds, markets and securities based on its prime brokerage and other businesses, may make decisions based on information or take (or refrain from taking) actions with respect to interests in investments of the kind held (directly or indirectly) by the Funds in a manner that may be adverse to the Funds, and will not have any obligation or other duty to share information with the Investment Adviser.

In limited circumstances, however, including for purposes of managing business and reputational risk, and subject to policies and procedures, personnel on one side of an information barrier may have access to information and personnel on the other side of the information barrier through “wall crossings.” The Investment Adviser faces conflicts of interest in determining whether to engage in such wall crossings. Information obtained in connection with such wall crossings may limit or restrict the ability of the Investment Adviser to engage in or otherwise effect transactions on behalf of the Funds (including purchasing or selling securities that the Investment Adviser may otherwise have purchased or sold for an Account in the absence of a wall crossing). In managing conflicts of interest that arise as a result of the foregoing, the Investment Adviser generally will be subject to fiduciary requirements. Information barriers also exist between certain businesses within the Investment Adviser, and the conflicts described herein with respect to information barriers and otherwise with respect to Goldman Sachs and the Investment Adviser will also apply to the businesses within the Investment Adviser. There may also be circumstances in which, as a result of information held by certain portfolio management teams in the Investment Adviser, the Investment Adviser limits an activity or transaction for a Fund, including if the Fund is managed by a portfolio management team other than the team holding such information.

In addition, regardless of the existence of information barriers, Goldman Sachs will not have any obligation or other duty to make available for the benefit of the Funds any information regarding Goldman Sachs’ trading activities, strategies or views, or the activities, strategies or views used for other Accounts. Furthermore, to the extent that the Investment Adviser has access to fundamental analysis and proprietary technical models or other information developed by Goldman Sachs and its personnel, or other parts of the Investment Adviser, the Investment Adviser will not be under any obligation or other duty to effect transactions on behalf of Accounts (including the Funds) in accordance with such analysis and models. In the event Goldman Sachs elects not to share certain information with the Investment Adviser or personnel involved in decision-making for Accounts (including the Funds), the Funds may make investment decisions that differ from those they would have made if Goldman Sachs had provided such information, which may be disadvantageous to the Funds.

 

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Different areas of the Investment Adviser and Goldman Sachs take views, and make decisions or recommendations, that are different than other areas of the Investment Adviser and Goldman Sachs. Different portfolio management teams within the Investment Adviser make decisions based on information or take (or refrain from taking) actions with respect to Accounts they advise in a manner different than or adverse to the Funds. Such teams may not share information with the Funds’ portfolio management teams, including as a result of certain information barriers and other policies, and will not have any obligation or other duty to do so.

Goldman Sachs operates a business known as Goldman Sachs Securities Services (“GSS”), which provides prime brokerage, administrative and other services to clients which may involve investment funds (including pooled investment vehicles and private funds) in which one or more Accounts invest (“Underlying Funds”) or markets and securities in which Accounts invest. GSS and other parts of Goldman Sachs have broad access to information regarding the current status of certain markets, investments and funds and detailed information about fund operators that is not available to the Investment Adviser. In addition, Goldman Sachs may act as a prime broker to one or more Underlying Funds, in which case Goldman Sachs will have information concerning the investments and transactions of such Underlying Funds that is not available to the Investment Adviser. As a result of these and other activities, parts of Goldman Sachs may be in possession of information in respect of markets, investments, investment advisers that are affiliated or unaffiliated with Goldman Sachs and Underlying Funds, which, if known to the Investment Adviser, might cause the Investment Adviser to seek to dispose of, retain or increase interests in investments held by Accounts or acquire certain positions on behalf of Accounts, or take other actions. Goldman Sachs will be under no obligation or other duty to make any such information available to the Investment Adviser or personnel involved in decision-making for Accounts (including the Funds).

Valuation of the Funds’ Investments

The Investment Adviser, while not the primary valuation agent of the Funds, performs certain valuation services related to securities and assets held in the Funds. The Investment Adviser performs such valuation services in accordance with its valuation policies. The Investment Adviser may value an identical asset differently than another division or unit within Goldman Sachs values the asset, including because such other division or unit has information or uses valuation techniques and models that it does not share with, or that are different than those of, the Investment Adviser. This is particularly the case in respect of difficult-to-value assets. The Investment Adviser may also value an identical asset differently in different Accounts, including because different Accounts are subject to different valuation guidelines pursuant to their respective governing agreements (e.g., in connection with certain regulatory restrictions applicable to different Accounts). Differences in valuation may also exist because different third-party vendors are hired to perform valuation functions for the Accounts, the Accounts are managed or advised by different portfolio management teams within the Investment Adviser that employ different valuation policies or procedures, or otherwise. The Investment Adviser will face a conflict with respect to valuations generally because of their effect on the Investment Adviser’s fees and other compensation. Furthermore, the application of particular valuation policies with respect to the Funds will, under certain circumstances, result in improved performance of the Funds.

Goldman Sachs’ and the Investment Adviser’s Activities on Behalf of Other Accounts

The Investment Adviser provides advisory services to the Funds. Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser), the clients it advises, and its personnel have interests in and advise Accounts that have investment objectives or portfolios similar to, related to or opposed to those of the Funds. Goldman Sachs may receive greater fees or other compensation (including performance-based fees) from such Accounts than it does from the Funds, in which case Goldman Sachs is incentivized to favor such Accounts. In addition, Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser), the clients it advises, and its personnel may engage (or consider engaging) in commercial arrangements or transactions with Accounts, and/or may compete for commercial arrangements or transactions in the same types of companies, assets securities and other instruments, as the Funds. Such arrangements, transactions or investments may adversely affect such Funds by, for example, limiting their ability to engage in such activity or affecting the pricing or terms of such arrangements, transactions or investments. Moreover, a particular Fund on the one hand, and Goldman Sachs or other Accounts, on the other hand, may vote differently on or take or refrain from taking different actions with respect to the same security, which may be disadvantageous to the Fund. Additionally, as described below, the Investment Adviser faces conflicts of interest arising out of Goldman Sachs’ relationships and business dealings in connection with decisions to take or refrain from taking certain actions on behalf of Accounts when doing so would be adverse to Goldman Sachs’ relationships or other business dealings with such parties.

Transactions by, advice to and activities of Accounts (including with respect to investment decisions, voting and the enforcement of rights) may involve the same or related companies, securities or other assets or instruments as those in which the Funds invest, and such Accounts may engage in a strategy while a Fund is undertaking the same or a differing strategy, any of which could directly or indirectly disadvantage the Fund (including its ability to engage in a transaction or other activities).

 

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For example, Goldman Sachs may be engaged to provide advice to an Account that is considering entering into a transaction with a Fund, and Goldman Sachs may advise the Account not to pursue the transaction with the Fund, or otherwise in connection with a potential transaction provide advice to the Account that would be adverse to the Fund. Additionally, a Fund may buy a security and an Account may establish a short position in that same security or in similar securities. This short position may result in the impairment of the price of the security that the Fund holds or may be designed to profit from a decline in the price of the security. A Fund could similarly be adversely impacted if it establishes a short position, following which an Account takes a long position in the same security or in similar securities. In addition, Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) may make filings in connection with a shareholder class action lawsuit or similar matter involving a particular security on behalf of an Account (including a Fund), but not on behalf of a different Account (including a Fund) that holds or held the same security, or that is invested in or has extended credit to different parts of the capital structure of the same issuer. Accounts may also have different rights in respect of an investment with the same issuer, or invest in different classes of the same issuer that have different rights, including, without limitation, with respect to liquidity. The determination to exercise such rights by the Investment Adviser on behalf of such other Accounts may have an adverse effect on the Funds.

The Funds are expected to transact with a variety of counterparties. Some of these counterparties will also engage in transactions with other Accounts managed by the Investment Adviser or another Goldman Sachs entity. For example, a Fund may directly or indirectly purchase assets from a counterparty at the same time the counterparty (or an affiliate thereof) is also negotiating to purchase different assets from another Account. This creates potential conflicts of interest, particularly with respect to the terms and purchase prices of the sales. For example, Goldman Sachs may receive fees or other compensation in connection with the sale of assets by an Account, which creates an incentive to negotiate a higher purchase price for those assets in a transaction where the Fund is a purchaser. To address these potential conflicts the Investment Adviser implements in such situations policies and procedures to ensure that any transaction is consistent with the Investment Advisers fiduciary obligations.

Shareholders may be offered access to advisory services through several different Goldman Sachs businesses (including through Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and the Investment Adviser). Different advisory businesses within Goldman Sachs manage Accounts according to different strategies and may also apply different criteria to the same or similar strategies and may have differing investment views in respect of an issuer or a security or other investment. Similarly, within the Investment Adviser, certain investment teams or portfolio managers may have differing or opposite investment views in respect of an issuer or a security, and the positions a Fund’s investment team or portfolio managers take in respect of the Fund may be inconsistent with, or adversely affected by, the interests and activities of the Accounts advised by other investment teams or portfolio managers of the Investment Adviser. Research, analyses or viewpoints may be available to clients or potential clients at different times. Goldman Sachs will not have any obligation or other duty to make available to the Funds any research or analysis at any particular time or prior to its public dissemination. The Investment Adviser is responsible for making investment decisions on behalf of the Funds, and such investment decisions can differ from investment decisions or recommendations by Goldman Sachs on behalf of other Accounts. The timing of transactions entered into or recommended by Goldman Sachs, on behalf of itself or its clients, including the Funds, may negatively impact the Funds or benefit certain other Accounts. For example, if Goldman Sachs, on behalf of one or more Accounts, implements an investment decision or strategy ahead of, or contemporaneously with, or behind similar investment decisions or strategies made for the Funds (whether or not the investment decisions emanate from the same research analysis or other information), it could result, due to market impact or other factors, in liquidity constraints or in certain Funds receiving less favorable investment or trading results or incurring increased costs. Similarly, Goldman Sachs may implement an investment decision or strategy that results in a purchase (or sale) of a security for one Fund that may increase the value of such security already held by another Account (or decrease the value of such security that such other Account intends to purchase), thereby benefitting such other Account.

Subject to applicable law, the Investment Adviser may cause the Funds to invest in securities, bank loans or other obligations of companies affiliated with or advised by Goldman Sachs or in which Goldman Sachs or Accounts have an equity, debt or other interest, or to engage in investment transactions that may result in other Accounts being relieved of obligations or otherwise divested of investments, which may enhance the profitability of Goldman Sachs’ or other Accounts’ investment in and activities with respect to such companies. The Investment Adviser, in its discretion and in certain circumstances, recommends that certain Funds have ongoing business dealings, arrangements or agreements with persons who are (i) former employees of Goldman Sachs, (ii) affiliates or other portfolio companies of Goldman Sachs or other Accounts, (iii) Goldman Sachs’ employees’ family members and/or relatives and/or certain of their portfolio companies or (iv) persons otherwise associated with an investor in an Account or a portfolio company or service provider of Goldman Sachs or an Account. The Funds may bear, directly or indirectly, the costs of such dealings, arrangements or agreements. These recommendations, and recommendations relating to continuing any such dealings, arrangements or agreements, pose conflicts of interest and may be based on differing incentives due to Goldman Sachs’ relationships with such persons. In particular, when acting on behalf of, and making decisions for, Accounts, the Investment Adviser may take into account Goldman Sachs’ interests in maintaining its relationships and business dealings with such persons. As a result, the Investment Adviser faces conflicts of interest arising out of Goldman Sachs’ relationships and business dealings in connection with decisions to take or refrain from taking certain actions on behalf of Accounts when doing so would be adverse to Goldman Sachs’ relationships or other business dealings with such parties.

When the Investment Adviser wishes to place an order for different types of Accounts (including the Funds) for which aggregation is not practicable, the Investment Adviser may use a trade sequencing and rotation policy to determine which type of Account is to be traded first. Under this policy, each portfolio management team may determine the length of its trade rotation period and the sequencing schedule for different categories of clients within this period provided that the trading periods and these sequencing schedules are designed to be reasonable. Within a given trading period, the sequencing schedule establishes when and how frequently a given client category will trade first in the order of rotation. The Investment Adviser may deviate from the predetermined sequencing schedule under certain circumstances, and the Investment Adviser’s trade sequencing and rotation policy may be amended, modified or supplemented at any time without prior notice to clients.

 

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Potential Conflicts Relating to Follow-On Investments

From time to time, the Investment Adviser provides opportunities to Accounts (including potentially the Funds) to make investments in companies in which certain Accounts have already invested. Such follow-on investments can create conflicts of interest, such as the determination of the terms of the new investment and the allocation of such opportunities among Accounts (including the Funds). Follow-on investment opportunities may be available to the Funds notwithstanding that the Funds have no existing investment in the issuer, resulting in the assets of the Funds potentially providing value to, or otherwise supporting the investments of, other Accounts. Accounts (including the Funds) may also participate in releveraging, recapitalization, and similar transactions involving companies in which other Accounts have invested or will invest. Conflicts of interest in these and other transactions arise between Accounts (including the Funds) with existing investments in a company and Accounts making subsequent investments in the company, which may have opposing interests regarding pricing and other terms. The subsequent investments may dilute or otherwise adversely affect the interests of the previously-invested Accounts (including the Funds).

Diverse Interests of Shareholders

The various types of investors in and beneficiaries of the Funds, including to the extent applicable the Investment Adviser and its affiliates, may have conflicting investment, tax and other interests with respect to their interests in the Funds. When considering a potential investment for a Fund, the Investment Adviser will generally consider the investment objectives of the Fund, not the investment objectives of any particular investor or beneficiary. The Investment Adviser makes decisions, including with respect to tax matters, from time to time that may be more beneficial to one type of investor or beneficiary than another, or to the Investment Adviser and its affiliates than to investors or beneficiaries unaffiliated with the Investment Adviser. In addition, Goldman Sachs faces certain tax risks based on positions taken by the Funds, including as a withholding agent. Goldman Sachs reserves the right on behalf of itself and its affiliates to take actions adverse to the Funds or other Accounts in these circumstances, including withholding amounts to cover actual or potential tax liabilities.

Selection of Service Providers

The Funds expect to engage service providers (including attorneys and consultants) that in certain cases also provide services to Goldman Sachs and other Accounts. In addition, certain service providers to the Investment Adviser or Funds are also portfolio companies or other affiliates of the Investment Adviser or other Accounts (for example, a portfolio company of an Account may retain a portfolio company of another Account). To the extent it is involved in such selection, the Investment Adviser intends to select these service providers based on a number of factors, including expertise and experience, knowledge of related or similar products, quality of service, reputation in the marketplace, relationships with the Investment Adviser, Goldman Sachs or others, and price. These service providers may have business, financial, or other relationships with Goldman Sachs (including its personnel), which may influence the Investment Adviser’s selection of these service providers for the Funds. In such circumstances, there is a conflict of interest between Goldman Sachs (acting on behalf of the Funds) and the Funds or between Funds if the Funds determine not to engage or continue to engage these service providers.

The Investment Adviser may, in its sole discretion, determine to provide, or engage or recommend an affiliate of the Investment Adviser to provide, certain services to the Funds, instead of engaging or recommending one or more third parties to provide such services. Subject to the governance requirements of a particular Fund and applicable law, the Investment Adviser or its affiliates, as applicable, will receive compensation in connection with the provision of such services. As a result, the Investment Adviser faces a conflict of interest when selecting or recommending service providers for the Funds. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the selection or recommendation of service providers for the Funds will be conducted in accordance with the Investment Adviser’s fiduciary obligations to the Funds. The service providers selected or recommended by the Investment Adviser may charge different rates to different recipients based on the specific services provided, the personnel providing the services, the complexity of the services provided or other factors. As a result, the rates paid with respect to these service providers by a Fund, on the one hand, may be more or less favorable than the rates paid by Goldman Sachs, including the Investment Adviser, on the other hand. In addition, the rates paid by the Investment Adviser or the Funds, on the one hand, may be more or less favorable than the rates paid by other parts of Goldman Sachs or Accounts managed by other parts of Goldman Sachs, on the other hand. Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser), its personnel, and/or Accounts may hold investments in companies that provide services to entities in which the Funds invest generally, and, subject to applicable law, the Investment Adviser may refer or introduce such companies’ services to entities that have issued securities held by the Funds.

Investments in Goldman Sachs Funds

To the extent permitted by applicable law, the Funds will, from time to time invest in money market and/or other funds sponsored, managed or advised by Goldman Sachs. In connection with any such investments, a Fund, to the extent permitted by the Act, will pay all advisory, administrative or Rule 12b-1 fees applicable to the investment. To the extent consistent with applicable law, certain Funds that invest in other funds sponsored, managed or advised by Goldman Sachs pay advisory fees to the Investment Adviser that are not reduced by any fees payable by such other funds to Goldman Sachs as manager of such other funds (i.e., there will be “double fees” involved in making any such investment, which would not arise in connection with the direct allocation of assets by investors in the Funds to such other funds). In such circumstances, as well as in all other circumstances in which Goldman Sachs receives any fees or other compensation in any form relating to the provision of services, no accounting or repayment to the Funds will be required.

 

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Goldman Sachs May In-Source or Outsource

Subject to applicable law, Goldman Sachs, including the Investment Adviser, may from time to time and without notice to investors in-source or outsource certain processes or functions in connection with a variety of services that it provides to the Funds in its administrative or other capacities. Such in-sourcing or outsourcing may give rise to additional conflicts of interest.

Distributions of Assets Other Than Cash

With respect to redemptions from the Funds, the Funds will, in certain circumstances, have discretion to decide whether to permit or limit redemptions and whether to make distributions in connection with redemptions in the form of securities or other assets, and in such case, the composition of such distributions. In making such decisions, the Investment Adviser will sometimes have a potentially conflicting division of loyalties and responsibilities to redeeming investors and remaining investors.

Goldman Sachs Will Act in a Capacity Other Than Investment Adviser to the Funds

Investments in and Advice Regarding Different Parts of an Issuer’s Capital Structure

In some cases, Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) or Accounts, on the one hand, and the Funds, on the other hand, invest in or extend credit to different parts of the capital structure of a single issuer. As a result, Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) or Accounts may take actions that adversely affect the Funds. In addition, in some cases, Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) advises Accounts with respect to different parts of the capital structure of the same issuer, or classes of securities that are subordinate or senior to securities, in which the Funds invest. Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) may pursue rights, provide advice or engage in other activities, or refrain from pursuing rights, providing advice or engaging in other activities, on behalf of itself or other Accounts with respect to an issuer in which the Funds have invested, and such actions (or refraining from action) may have a material adverse effect on the Funds.

For example, in the event that Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) or an Account holds loans, securities or other positions in the capital structure of an issuer that ranks senior in preference to the holdings of a Fund in the same issuer, and the issuer experiences financial or operational challenges, Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser), acting on behalf of itself or the Account, may seek a liquidation, reorganization or restructuring of the issuer, or terms in connection with the foregoing, that may have an adverse effect on or otherwise conflict with the interests of the Fund’s holdings in the issuer. In connection with any such liquidation, reorganization or restructuring, the Fund’s holdings in the issuer may be extinguished or substantially diluted, while Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) or another Account may receive a recovery of some or all of the amounts due to them. In addition, in connection with any lending arrangements involving the issuer in which Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) or an Account participates, Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) or the Account may seek to exercise its rights under the applicable loan agreement or other document, which may be detrimental to the Fund. In situations in which Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) holds positions in multiple parts of the capital structure of an issuer across Accounts (including the Funds), the Investment Adviser may not pursue actions or remedies that may be available to the Fund, as a result of legal and regulatory requirements or otherwise.

These potential issues are examples of conflicts that Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) will face in situations in which the Funds, and Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) or other Accounts, invest in or extend credit to different parts of the capital structure of a single issuer. Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) addresses these issues based on the circumstances of particular situations. For example, Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) may determine to rely on information barriers between different Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) business units or portfolio management teams. Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) may determine to rely on the actions of similarly situated holders of loans or securities rather than, or in connection with, taking such actions itself on behalf of the Funds.

As a result of the various conflicts and related issues described above and the fact that conflicts will not necessarily be resolved in favor of the interests of the Funds, the Funds could sustain losses during periods in which Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) and other Accounts (including Accounts sponsored, managed or advised by the Investment Adviser) achieve profits generally or with respect to particular holdings in the same issuer, or could achieve lower profits or higher losses than would have been the case had the conflicts described above not existed. The negative effects described above may be more pronounced in connection with transactions in, or the Funds’ use of, small capitalization, emerging market, distressed or less liquid strategies.

 

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Principal and Cross Transactions

When permitted by applicable law and the Investment Adviser’s policies, the Investment Adviser, acting on behalf of certain Funds (for example, those employing taxable fixed income, municipal bond fixed income and structured investment strategies), may enter into transactions in securities and other instruments with or through Goldman Sachs or in Accounts managed by the Investment Adviser or its affiliates, and may (but is under no obligation or other duty to) cause the Funds to engage in transactions in which the Investment Adviser acts as principal on its own behalf (principal transactions), advises both sides of a transaction (cross transactions) and acts as broker for, and receives a commission from, the Funds on one side of a transaction and a brokerage account on the other side of the transaction (agency cross transactions). There are potential conflicts of interest, regulatory issues or restrictions contained in the Investment Adviser’s internal policies relating to these transactions which could limit the Investment Adviser’s determination to engage in these transactions for Accounts (including the Funds). In certain circumstances such as when Goldman Sachs is the only or one of a few participants in a particular market or is one of the largest such participants, such limitations may eliminate or reduce the availability of certain investment opportunities to Accounts (including the Funds) or impact the price or terms on which transactions relating to such investment opportunities may be effected.

Goldman Sachs will have a potentially conflicting division of loyalties and responsibilities to the parties in such transactions. The Investment Adviser has developed policies and procedures in relation to such transactions and conflicts. Cross transactions may disproportionately benefit some Accounts relative to other Accounts, including the Funds, due to the relative amount of market savings obtained by the Accounts, and cross transactions may be effected at different prices for different Accounts due to differing legal and/or regulatory requirements applicable to such Accounts. Principal, cross or agency cross transactions will be effected in accordance with fiduciary requirements and applicable law (which may include disclosure and consent).

Goldman Sachs Acting in Multiple Commercial Capacities

To the extent permitted by applicable law, an issuer in which a Fund has an interest may hire Goldman Sachs to provide underwriting, merger advisory, other financial advisory, placement agency, foreign currency hedging, research, asset management services, brokerage services or other services to the issuer. Furthermore, Goldman Sachs may sponsor, manage, advise or provide services to affiliated Underlying Funds (or their personnel) in which the Funds invest. Goldman Sachs may be entitled to compensation in connection with the provision of such services, and the Funds will not be entitled to any such compensation. Goldman Sachs will have an interest in obtaining fees and other compensation in connection with such services that are favorable to Goldman Sachs, and in connection with providing such services takes commercial steps in its own interest, or advises the parties to which it is providing services, or takes other actions. Such actions may benefit Goldman Sachs. For example, Goldman Sachs may require repayment of all or part of a loan from a company in which an Account (including a Fund) holds an interest, which could cause the company to default or be required to liquidate its assets more rapidly, which could adversely affect the value of the company and the value of the Funds invested therein. Goldman Sachs may also advise such a company to make changes to its capital structure the result of which would be a reduction in the value or priority of a security held (directly or indirectly) by one or more Funds. In addition, underwriters, placement agents or managers of initial public offerings, including Goldman Sachs, may require the Funds who hold privately placed securities of a company to execute a lock-up agreement prior to such company’s initial public offering restricting the resale of the securities for a period of time before and following the IPO. As a result, the Investment Adviser may be restricted from selling the securities in such Funds at a more favorable price. Actions taken or advised to be taken by Goldman Sachs in connection with other types of transactions may also result in adverse consequences for the Funds. Goldman Sachs faces conflicts of interest in providing and selecting services for the Funds because Goldman Sachs provides many services and has many commercial relationships with companies and affiliated and unaffiliated Underlying Funds (or their applicable personnel). Providing services to the Funds and companies (or their personnel) in which the Funds invest enhances Goldman Sachs’ relationships with various parties, facilitates additional business development and enables Goldman Sachs to obtain additional business and/or generate additional revenue. The Funds will not be entitled to compensation related to any such benefit to businesses of Goldman Sachs. In addition, such relationships may adversely impact the Funds, including, for example, by restricting potential investment opportunities, as described below, incentivizing the Investment Adviser to take or refrain from taking certain actions on behalf of the Funds when doing so would be adverse to such business relationships, and/or influencing the Investment Adviser’s selection or recommendation of certain investment products and/or strategies over others.

 

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Goldman Sachs’ activities on behalf of its clients may also restrict investment opportunities generally that may be available to the Funds. For example, Goldman Sachs is often engaged by companies as a financial advisor, or to provide financing or other services, in connection with commercial transactions that may be potential investment opportunities for the Funds. There may be circumstances in which the Funds are precluded from participating in such transactions as a result of Goldman Sachs’ engagement by such companies. Goldman Sachs reserves the right to act for these companies in such circumstances, notwithstanding the potential adverse effect on the Funds. Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) also represents creditor or debtor companies in proceedings under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code (and equivalent non-U.S. bankruptcy laws) or prior to these filings. From time to time, Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) serves on creditor or equity committees. These actions, for which Goldman Sachs may be compensated, may limit or preclude the flexibility that the Funds may otherwise have to buy or sell securities issued by those companies, as well as certain other assets. Please also see “—Management of the Funds by the Investment Adviser—Considerations Relating to Information Held by Goldman Sachs” above and “—Potential Limitations and Restrictions on Investment Opportunities and Activities of Goldman Sachs and the Funds” below.

Subject to applicable law, the Investment Adviser may cause the Funds to invest in securities, bank loans or other obligations of companies affiliated with or advised by Goldman Sachs or in which Goldman Sachs or Accounts have an equity, debt or other interest, or to engage in investment transactions that may result in Goldman Sachs or other Accounts being relieved of obligations or otherwise divested of investments. For example, subject to applicable law a Fund may acquire securities or indebtedness of a company affiliated with Goldman Sachs directly or indirectly through syndicate or secondary market purchases, or may make a loan to, or purchase securities from, a company that uses the proceeds to repay loans made by Goldman Sachs. These activities by a Fund may enhance the profitability of Goldman Sachs or other Accounts with respect to their investment in and activities relating to such companies. The Fund will not be entitled to compensation as a result of this enhanced profitability.

To the extent permitted by applicable law, Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser) creates, writes, sells, issues, invests in or acts as placement agent or distributor of derivative instruments related to the Funds, or with respect to underlying securities or assets of the Funds, or which may be otherwise based on or seek to replicate or hedge the performance of the Funds. Such derivative transactions, and any associated hedging activity, may differ from and be adverse to the interests of the Funds.

Goldman Sachs may make loans to, or enter into margin, asset-based or other credit facilities or similar transactions with, clients, companies or individuals that may (or may not) be secured by publicly or privately held securities or other assets, including a client’s Fund shares as described above. Some of these borrowers are public or private companies, or founders, officers or shareholders in companies in which the Funds (directly or indirectly) invest, and such loans may be secured by securities of such companies, which may be the same as, pari passu with, or more senior or junior to, interests held (directly or indirectly) by the Funds. In connection with its rights as lender, Goldman Sachs may act to protect its own commercial interest and may take actions that adversely affect the borrower, including by liquidating or causing the liquidation of securities on behalf of a borrower or foreclosing and liquidating such securities in Goldman Sachs’ own name. Such actions may adversely affect the Funds (e.g., if a large position in a security is liquidated, among the other potential adverse consequences, the value of such security may decline rapidly and the Funds may in turn decline in value or may be unable to liquidate their positions in such security at an advantageous price or at all). In addition, Goldman Sachs may make loans to shareholders or enter into similar transactions that are secured by a pledge of, or mortgage over, a shareholder’s Fund shares, which would provide Goldman Sachs with the right to redeem such Fund shares in the event that such shareholder defaults on its obligations. These transactions and related redemptions may be significant and may be made without notice to the shareholders.

Code of Ethics and Personal Trading

Each of the Funds and Goldman Sachs, as each Fund’s Investment Adviser and Distributor, has adopted a Code of Ethics (the “Code of Ethics”) in compliance with Section 17(j) of the Act designed to provide that personnel of the Investment Adviser, and certain additional Goldman Sachs personnel who support the Investment Adviser, comply with applicable federal securities laws and place the interests of clients first in conducting personal securities transactions. The Code of Ethics imposes certain restrictions on securities transactions in the personal accounts of covered persons to help avoid conflicts of interest. Subject to the limitations of the Code of Ethics, covered persons may buy and sell securities or other investments for their personal accounts, including investments in the Funds, and may also take positions that are the same as, different from, or made at different times than, positions taken (directly or indirectly) by the Funds. The Codes of Ethics are available on the EDGAR Database on the SEC’s Internet site at http://www.sec.gov. Copies may also be obtained after paying a duplicating fee by electronic request to publicinfo@sec.gov. Additionally, all Goldman Sachs personnel, including personnel of the Investment Adviser, are subject to firm-wide policies and procedures regarding confidential and proprietary information, information barriers, private investments, outside business activities and personal trading.

Proxy Voting by the Investment Adviser

The Investment Adviser has implemented processes designed to prevent conflicts of interest from influencing proxy voting decisions that it makes on behalf of advisory clients, including the Funds, and to help ensure that such decisions are made in accordance with its fiduciary obligations to its clients. Notwithstanding such proxy voting processes, proxy voting decisions made by the Investment Adviser in respect of securities held by the Funds may benefit the interests of Goldman Sachs and/or Accounts other than the Funds. For a more detailed discussion of these policies and procedures, see the section of this SAI entitled “PROXY VOTING.”

 

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Potential Limitations and Restrictions on Investment Opportunities and Activities of Goldman Sachs and the Funds

The Investment Adviser may restrict its investment decisions and activities on behalf of the Funds in various circumstances, including as a result of applicable regulatory requirements, information held by the Investment Adviser or Goldman Sachs, Goldman Sachs’ roles in connection with other clients and in the capital markets (including in connection with advice it may give to such clients or commercial arrangements or transactions that may be undertaken by such clients or by Goldman Sachs), Goldman Sachs’ internal policies and/or potential reputational risk in connection with Accounts (including the Funds). The Investment Adviser might not engage in transactions or other activities for, or enforce certain rights in favor of, one or more Funds due to Goldman Sachs’ activities outside the Funds (e.g., the Investment Adviser may refrain from making investments for the Funds that would cause Goldman Sachs to exceed position limits or cause Goldman Sachs to have additional disclosure obligations and may limit purchases or sales of securities in respect of which Goldman Sachs is engaged in an underwriting or other distribution) and regulatory requirements, policies and reputational risk assessments.

In addition, in certain circumstances, the Investment Adviser restricts, limits or reduces the amount of a Fund’s investment, or restricts the type of governance or voting rights it acquires or exercises, where the Fund (potentially together with Goldman Sachs and other Accounts) exceeds a certain ownership interest, or possesses certain degrees of voting or control or has other interests. For example, such limitations may exist if a position or transaction could require a filing or license or other regulatory or corporate consent, which could, among other things, result in additional costs and disclosure obligations for, or impose regulatory restrictions on, Goldman Sachs, including the Investment Adviser, or on other Accounts, or where exceeding a threshold is prohibited or may result in regulatory or other restrictions. In certain cases, restrictions and limitations will be applied to avoid approaching such threshold. Circumstances in which such restrictions or limitations may arise include, without limitation: (i) a prohibition against owning more than a certain percentage of an issuer’s securities; (ii) a “poison pill” that could have a dilutive impact on the holdings of the Fund should a threshold be exceeded; (iii) provisions that would cause Goldman Sachs to be considered an “interested stockholder” of an issuer; (iv) provisions that may cause Goldman Sachs to be considered an “affiliate” or “control person” of the issuer; and (v) the imposition by an issuer (through charter amendment, contract or otherwise) or governmental, regulatory or self-regulatory organization (through law, rule, regulation, interpretation or other guidance) of other restrictions or limitations. In addition, due to regulatory restrictions, certain Accounts are prohibited from, or are subject to certain restrictions when, trading with or through Goldman Sachs, engaging Goldman Sachs as a service provider or purchasing investments issued or managed by Goldman Sachs.

When faced with the foregoing limitations, Goldman Sachs will generally avoid exceeding the threshold because exceeding the threshold could have an adverse impact on the ability of the Investment Adviser or Goldman Sachs to conduct its business activities. The Investment Adviser may also reduce a Fund’s interest in, or restrict a Fund from participating in, an investment opportunity that has limited availability or where Goldman Sachs has determined to cap its aggregate investment in consideration of certain regulatory or other requirements so that other Accounts that pursue similar investment strategies may be able to acquire an interest in the investment opportunity. The Investment Adviser may determine not to engage in certain transactions or activities which may be beneficial to the Funds because engaging in such transactions or activities in compliance with applicable law would result in significant cost to, or administrative burden on, the Investment Adviser or create the potential risk of trade or other errors.

The Investment Adviser generally is not permitted to use material non-public information in effecting purchases and sales in transactions for the Funds that involve public securities. The Investment Adviser may limit an activity or transaction (such as a purchase or sale transaction) which might otherwise be engaged in by the Funds, including as a result of information held by Goldman Sachs (including the Investment Adviser or its personnel). For example, directors, officers and employees of Goldman Sachs may take seats on the boards of directors of, or have board of directors observer rights with respect to, companies in which Goldman Sachs invests on behalf of the Funds. To the extent a director, officer or employee of Goldman Sachs were to take a seat on the board of directors of, or have board of directors observer rights with respect to, a public company, the Investment Adviser (or certain of its investment teams) may be limited and/or restricted in its or their ability to trade in the securities of the company. In addition, any such director, officer or employee of Goldman Sachs that is a member of the board of directors of a portfolio company may have duties in his or her capacity as a director that conflict with the Investment Adviser’s duties to Accounts, and may act in a manner that disadvantages or otherwise harms a Fund and/or Goldman Sachs. In the event the Investment Adviser declines access to, or otherwise does not receive, material non-public information regarding an issuer, the Investment Adviser may base investment decisions with respect to securities of such issuer solely on public information, thereby limiting the amount of information available to the Investment Adviser in connection with such investment decisions.

Different areas of Goldman Sachs may come into possession of material non-public information regarding an issuer of securities held by an Underlying Fund in which an Account invests. In the absence of information barriers between such different areas of Goldman Sachs or under certain other circumstances, the Account may be prohibited, including by internal policies, from trading such security or redeeming from such Underlying Fund during the period such material non-public information is held by such other part of Goldman Sachs, which period may be substantial. As a result, the Account may not be permitted to redeem from an Underlying Fund in whole or in part during periods when it otherwise would have been able to do so, which could adversely affect the Account. Other investors in the Underlying Fund that are not subject to such restrictions may be able to redeem from the Underlying Fund during such periods.

In addition, the Investment Adviser’s clients may partially or fully fund a new Account with in-kind securities in which the Investment Adviser may be restricted. In such circumstances, the Investment Adviser will sell any such securities at the next available trading window, subject to operational and technological limitations (unless such securities are subject to another express arrangement). As a result, such Accounts may be required to dispose of investments at an earlier or later date and/or at a less favorable price than would otherwise have been the case had the Investment Adviser not been so restricted. Accounts will be responsible for all tax liabilities that result from any such sale transactions.

 

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The Investment Adviser operates a program reasonably designed to ensure compliance generally with economic and trade sanctions-related obligations applicable directly to its activities (although such obligations are not necessarily the same obligations that the Funds may be subject to). Such economic and trade sanctions may prohibit, among other things, transactions with and the provision of services to, directly or indirectly, certain countries, territories, entities and individuals. These economic and trade sanctions, and the application by the Investment Adviser of its compliance program in respect thereof, may restrict or limit the Funds’ investment activities.

The Investment Adviser may determine to limit or not engage at all in transactions and activities on behalf of the Funds for reputational or other reasons. Examples of when such determinations may be made include, but are not limited to, where Goldman Sachs is providing (or may provide) advice or services to an entity involved in such activity or transaction, where Goldman Sachs or an Account is or may be engaged in the same or a related activity or transaction to that being considered on behalf of the Funds, where Goldman Sachs or an Account has an interest in an entity involved in such activity or transaction, where there are political, public relations, or other reputational considerations relating to counterparties or other participants in such activity or transaction or where such activity or transaction on behalf of or in respect of the Funds could affect in tangible or intangible ways Goldman Sachs, the Investment Adviser, an Account or their activities.

In order to engage in certain transactions on behalf of a Fund, the Investment Adviser will also be subject to (or cause the Fund to become subject to) the rules, terms and/or conditions of any venues through which it trades securities, derivatives or other instruments. This includes, but is not limited to, where the Investment Adviser and/or the Fund are required to comply with the rules of certain exchanges, execution platforms, trading facilities, clearinghouses and other venues, or are required to consent to the jurisdiction of any such venues. The rules, terms and/or conditions of any such venue may result in the Investment Adviser and/or the Fund being subject to, among other things, margin requirements, additional fees and other charges, disciplinary procedures, reporting and recordkeeping, position limits and other restrictions on trading, settlement risks and other related conditions on trading set out by such venues.

From time to time, a Fund, the Investment Adviser or its affiliates and/or their service providers or agents are required, or may determine that it is advisable, to disclose certain information about the Fund, including, but not limited to, investments held by the Fund, and the names and percentage interest of beneficial owners thereof (and the underlying beneficial owners of such beneficial owners), to third parties, including local governmental authorities, regulatory organizations, taxing authorities, markets, exchanges, clearing facilities, custodians, brokers and trading counterparties of, or service providers to, the Investment Adviser or the Fund. The Investment Adviser generally expects to comply with requests to disclose such information as it so determines including through electronic delivery platforms; however, the Investment Adviser may determine to cause the sale of certain assets for the Fund rather than make certain required disclosures, and such sale may be at a time that is inopportune from a pricing or other standpoint. In addition, the Investment Adviser may provide third parties with aggregated data regarding the activities of, or certain performance or other metrics associated with the Accounts, and the Investment Adviser may receive compensation from such third parties for providing them such information.

Goldman Sachs may become subject to additional restrictions on its business activities that could have an impact on the Funds’ activities. In addition, the Investment Adviser may restrict its investment decisions and activities on behalf of the Funds and not other Accounts, including Accounts sponsored, managed or advised by the Investment Adviser.

Brokerage Transactions

The Investment Adviser often selects U.S. and non-U.S. broker-dealers (including affiliates of the Investment Adviser) that furnish the Investment Adviser, the Funds, Investment Adviser affiliates and other Goldman Sachs personnel with proprietary or third-party brokerage and research services (collectively, “brokerage and research services”) that provide, in the Investment Adviser’s view, appropriate assistance to the Investment Adviser in the investment decision-making process. These brokerage and research services may be bundled with the trade execution, clearing or settlement services provided by a particular broker-dealer and, subject to applicable law, the Investment Adviser may pay for such brokerage and research services with client commissions (or “soft dollars”). There are instances or situations in which such practices are subject to restrictions under applicable law. For example, the EU’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (“MiFID II”) restricts EU domiciled investment advisers from receiving research and other materials that do not qualify as “acceptable minor non-monetary benefits” from broker-dealers unless the research or materials are paid for by the investment advisers from their own resources or from research payment accounts funded by and with the agreement of their clients.

Accounts differ with regard to whether and to what extent they pay for brokerage and research services through commissions and, subject to applicable law, brokerage and research services may be used to service the Funds and any or all other Accounts throughout the Investment Adviser, including Accounts that do not pay commissions to the broker-dealer relating to the brokerage and research service arrangements. As a result, brokerage and research services (including soft dollar benefits) may disproportionately benefit other Accounts relative to the Funds based on the relative amount of commissions paid by the Funds and in particular those Accounts that do not pay for brokerage and research services or do so to a lesser extent, including in connection with the establishment of maximum budgets for research costs (and switching to execution-only pricing when maximums are met). The Investment Adviser does not attempt to allocate soft dollar benefits proportionately among clients or to track the benefits of brokerage and research services to the commissions associated with a particular Account or group of Accounts.

 

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Aggregation of Orders by the Investment Adviser

The Investment Adviser follows policies and procedures pursuant to which it may (but is not required to) combine or aggregate purchase or sale orders for the same security or other instrument for multiple Accounts (including Accounts in which Goldman Sachs or personnel of Goldman Sachs have an interest) (sometimes referred to as “bunching”), so that the orders can be executed at the same time and block trade treatment of any such orders can be elected when available. The Investment Adviser aggregates orders when the Investment Adviser considers doing so to be operationally feasible and appropriate and in the interests of its clients and may elect block trade treatment when available. In addition, under certain circumstances orders for the Funds may be aggregated with orders for Accounts that contain Goldman Sachs assets.

When a bunched order or block trade is completely filled, or if the order is only partially filled, at the end of the day, the Investment Adviser generally will allocate the securities or other instruments purchased or the proceeds of any sale pro rata among the participating Accounts, based on the Funds’ relative sizes. If an order is filled at several different prices, through multiple trades (whether at a particular broker-dealer or among multiple broker-dealers), generally all participating Accounts will receive the average price and pay the average commission, however, this may not always be the case (due to, e.g., odd lots, rounding, market practice or constraints applicable to particular Accounts).

Although it may do so in certain circumstances, the Investment Adviser does not always bunch or aggregate orders for different Funds, elect block trade treatment or net buy and sell orders for the same Fund, if portfolio management decisions relating to the orders are made by different portfolio management teams or if different portfolio management processes are used for different account types, if bunching, aggregating, electing block trade treatment or netting is not appropriate or practicable from the Investment Adviser’s operational or other perspective, or if doing so would not be appropriate in light of applicable regulatory considerations. For example, time zone differences, trading instructions, cash flows, separate trading desks or portfolio management processes may, among other factors, result in separate, non-aggregated, non-netted executions, with orders in the same instrument being entered for different Accounts at different times or, in the case of netting, buy and sell trades for the same instrument being entered for the same Account. The Investment Adviser may be able to negotiate a better price and lower commission rate on aggregated orders than on orders for Funds that are not aggregated, and incur lower transaction costs on netted orders than orders that are not netted. The Investment Adviser is under no obligation or other duty to aggregate or net for particular orders. Where orders for a Fund are not aggregated with other orders, or not netted against orders for the Fund or other Accounts, the Fund will not benefit from a better price and lower commission rate or lower transaction cost that might have been available had the orders been aggregated or netted. Aggregation and netting of orders may disproportionately benefit some Accounts relative to other Accounts, including a Fund, due to the relative amount of market savings obtained by the Accounts. The Investment Adviser may aggregate orders of Accounts that are subject to MiFID II (“MiFID II Advisory Accounts”) with orders of Accounts not subject to MiFID II, including those that generate soft dollar commissions (including the Funds) and those that restrict the use of soft dollars. All Accounts included in an aggregated order with MiFID II Advisory Accounts pay (or receive) the same average price for the security and the same execution costs (measured by rate). However, MiFID II Advisory Accounts included in an aggregated order may pay commissions at “execution-only” rates below the total commission rates paid by Accounts included in the aggregated order that are not subject to MiFID II.

PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS AND BROKERAGE

The Investment Adviser is responsible for decisions to buy and sell securities for the Fund, the selection of brokers and dealers to effect the transactions and the negotiation of brokerage commissions, if any. Purchases and sales of securities may be executed internally by a broker-dealer, effected on an agency basis in a block transaction, or routed to competing market centers for execution. The compensation paid to the broker for providing execution services generally is negotiated and reflected in either a commission or a “net” price. Executions provided on a net price basis, with dealers acting as principal for their own accounts without a stated commission, usually include a profit to the dealer. In underwritten offerings, securities are purchased at a fixed price which includes an amount of compensation to the underwriter, generally referred to as the underwriter’s concession or discount. On occasion, certain money market instruments may be purchased directly from an issuer, in which case no commissions or discounts are paid.

In placing orders for portfolio securities or other financial instruments of the Fund, the Investment Adviser is generally required to give primary consideration to obtaining the most favorable execution and net price available. This means that the Investment Adviser will seek to execute each transaction at a price and commission, if any, which provides the most favorable total cost or proceeds reasonably attainable in the circumstances. As permitted by Section 28(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Section 28(e)”), the Fund may pay a broker which provides brokerage and research services to the Fund an amount of disclosed commission in excess of the commission which another broker would have charged for effecting that transaction. Such practice is subject to a good faith determination by the Trustees that such commission is reasonable in light of the services provided and to such policies as the Trustees may adopt from time to time. While the Investment Adviser generally seeks reasonably competitive spreads or commissions, the Fund will not necessarily be paying the lowest spread or commission available. Within the framework of this policy, the Investment Adviser will consider research and investment services provided by brokers or dealers who effect or are parties to portfolio transactions of the Fund, the Investment Adviser and its affiliates, or their other clients. Such research and investment services are those which brokerage houses customarily provide to institutional investors and include research reports on particular industries and companies; economic surveys and analyses; recommendations as to specific securities; research products including quotation equipment and computer related programs; research and advice concerning the value of securities, the advisability of investing in, purchasing or selling securities and the availability of securities or the purchasers or sellers of securities; analyses and reports concerning issuers, industries, securities, economic factors and trends, portfolio strategy and performance of accounts; services relating to effecting securities transactions and functions incidental thereto (such as clearance and settlement); and other lawful and appropriate assistance to the Investment Adviser in the performance of its decision-making responsibilities.

 

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Such services are used by the Investment Adviser in connection with all of its investment activities, and some of such services obtained in connection with the execution of transactions for the Fund may be used in managing other investment accounts. Conversely, brokers furnishing such services may be selected for the execution of transactions of such other accounts, whose aggregate assets may be larger than those of the Fund, and the services furnished by such brokers may be used by the Investment Adviser in providing management services for the Trust. The Investment Adviser may also participate in so-called “commission sharing arrangements” and “client commission arrangements” under which the Investment Adviser may execute transactions through a broker-dealer and request that the broker-dealer allocate a portion of the commissions or commission credits to another firm that provides research to the Investment Adviser. The Investment Adviser excludes from use under these arrangements those products and services that are not fully eligible under applicable law and regulatory interpretations—even as to the portion that would be eligible if accounted for separately.

The research services received as part of commission sharing and client commission arrangements will comply with Section 28(e) and may be subject to different legal requirements in the jurisdictions in which the Investment Adviser does business. Participating in commission sharing and client commission arrangements may enable the Investment Adviser to consolidate payments for research through one or more channels using accumulated client commissions or credits from transactions executed through a particular broker-dealer to obtain research provided by other firms. Such arrangements also help to ensure the continued receipt of research services while facilitating best execution in the trading process. The Investment Adviser believes such research services are useful in its investment decision-making process by, among other things, ensuring access to a variety of high quality research, access to individual analysts and availability of resources that the Investment Adviser might not be provided access to absent such arrangements.

The Fund is prohibited, in accordance with Rule 12b-1 under the Act, from compensating a broker or dealer for any promotion or sale of Fund shares by directing to such broker or dealer the Trust’s portfolio transactions or by making any payment to such broker or dealer received or to be received (which payment may include commissions, mark ups or mark-downs or other fees) from the Trust’s portfolio transactions effected through another broker or dealer. However, the Fund may direct portfolio transactions to a broker or dealer that promotes or sells shares of the Trust if the Trust’s Board of Trustees approve policies and procedures designed to ensure that the selection of such brokers is not influenced by considerations about the sale of Trust shares. Accordingly, the Trustees (including a majority of the Trustees who are not interested Trustees) have approved policies permitting the Trust to direct portfolio securities transactions to a broker or dealer that promotes or sells shares of the Trust subject to the prohibitions that: i) all persons responsible for selecting such brokers or dealers (including but not limited to trading desk personnel and portfolio managers) may not take into account in connection with their selections the promotion or sale of shares issued by the Trust or any other registered investment company, and ii) the Trust, the Investment Adviser and Goldman Sachs & Co., LLC as the Trust’s distributor may not enter into any agreement or understanding where the Trust or the Investment Adviser directs, or is expected to direct, portfolio transactions or any payment to a broker or dealer in consideration for the promotion or sale of shares of the Trust or any other registered investment company.

On occasions when the Investment Adviser deems the purchase or sale of a security or other financial instruments to be in the best interest of the Fund as well as its other customers (including any other fund or other investment company or advisory account for which the Investment Adviser acts as investment adviser or sub-investment adviser), the Investment Adviser, to the extent permitted by applicable laws and regulations, may aggregate the securities to be sold or purchased for the Fund with those to be sold or purchased for such other customers in order to obtain the best net price and most favorable execution under the circumstances. In such event, allocation of the securities so purchased or sold, as well as the expenses incurred in the transaction, will be made by the Investment Adviser in the manner it considers to be equitable and consistent with its fiduciary obligations to the Fund and such other customers. In some instances, this procedure may adversely affect the price and size of the position obtainable for the Fund.

The Fund may participate in a commission recapture program. Under the program, participating broker-dealers rebate a percentage of commissions earned on Fund portfolio transactions to the Fund from which the commissions were generated. The rebated commissions are expected to be treated as realized capital gains of the Fund.

Subject to the above considerations, the Investment Adviser may use Goldman Sachs or an affiliate as a broker for the Fund. In order for Goldman Sachs or an affiliate, acting as agent, to effect any portfolio transactions for the Fund, the commissions, fees or other remuneration received by Goldman Sachs or an affiliate must be reasonable and fair compared to the commissions, fees or other remuneration received by other brokers in connection with comparable transactions involving similar securities or futures contracts. Furthermore, the Trustees, including a majority of the Independent Trustees, have adopted procedures which are reasonably designed to provide that any commissions, fees or other remuneration paid to Goldman Sachs are consistent with the foregoing standard. Brokerage transactions with Goldman Sachs are also subject to such fiduciary standards as may be imposed upon Goldman Sachs by applicable law.

 

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Commission rates in the U.S. are established pursuant to negotiations with the broker based on the quality and quantity of execution services provided by the broker in the light of generally prevailing rates. The allocation of orders among brokers and the commission rates paid are reviewed periodically by the Trustees. The amount of brokerage commissions paid by the Fund may vary substantially from year to year because of differences in shareholder purchase and redemption activity, portfolio turnover rates and other factors.

For fiscal years ended December 31, 2019, December 31, 2018 and December 31, 2017, the Fund paid the following brokerage commissions:

 

Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2019

   Total
Brokerage
Commissions
Paid
     Total
Brokerage
Commissions
Paid to
Goldman

Sachs(1)
           Total Amount
of Transactions
on which
Commissions
Paid
           Amount of
Transactions
Effected
through
Brokers
Providing
Research(2)
     Total
Brokerage
Commissions
Paid for
Research(2)
 

Goldman Sachs Dynamic Global Equity Fund

   $ 66,255      $ 0        (0 %)(3)    $ 280,595,963        (0 %)(4)    $ 0      $ 0  

 

Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2018

   Total
Brokerage
Commissions
Paid
     Total
Brokerage
Commissions
Paid to
Goldman
Sachs(1)
           Total Amount
of Transactions
on which
Commissions
Paid
           Amount of
Transactions
Effected
through
Brokers
Providing
Research(2)
     Total
Brokerage
Commissions

Paid for
Research(2)
 

Goldman Sachs Dynamic Global Equity Fund

   $ 46,957      $ 0        (0 %)(3)    $ 291,997,794        (0 %)(4)    $ 0      $ 0  

 

Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2017

   Total
Brokerage
Commissions
Paid
     Total
Brokerage
Commissions
Paid to
Goldman
Sachs(1)
           Total Amount
of Transactions
on which
Commissions
Paid
           Amount of
Transactions
Effected
through
Brokers
Providing
Research(2)
     Total
Brokerage
Commissions

Paid for
Research(2)
 

Goldman Sachs Dynamic Global Equity Fund

   $ 23,123      $ 0        (0 %)(3)    $ 494,989,321        (0 %)(4)    $ 0      $ 0  

 

 

1 

The figures in the table report brokerage commissions from portfolio transactions, including futures transactions. For the fiscal years ended December 31, 2019, December 31, 2018 and December 31, 2017, Goldman Sachs did not earn any brokerage commissions from portfolio transactions executed on behalf of the Fund.

2 

The information above reflects the full commission amounts paid to brokers that provide research to the Investment Adviser. Only a portion of such commission pays for research and the remainder of such commission is to compensate the broker for execution services, commitment of capital and other services related to the execution of brokerage transactions.

3 

Percentage of total commissions paid to Goldman Sachs.

4 

Percentage of total amount of transactions involving the payment of commissions effected through Goldman Sachs.

The Fund’s Investment in Regular Broker-Dealers

During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, the Trust’s regular “broker-dealers,” as defined in Rule 10b-1 under the Act, were: Credit Suisse Securities (Europe) Limited, Deutsche Bank AG-London Branch, Citigroup Global Markets Inc., UBS Securities LLC, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Barclays Capital Inc., J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, and Bank of America, National Association.

The Fund did not own any securities issued by its regular broker-dealers (as defined in Rule 10b-1 under the Act) or the parent entities of such broker-dealers during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019.

 

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NET ASSET VALUE

In accordance with procedures adopted by the Trustees, the NAV per share of each class of the Fund is calculated by determining the value of the net assets attributed to each class of the Fund and dividing by the number of outstanding shares of that class. All securities are generally valued on each Business Day as of the close of regular trading on the NYSE (normally, but not always, 4:00 p.m. Eastern time) or such other times as the NYSE or NASDAQ market may officially close. The term “Business Day” means any day the NYSE is open for trading, which is Monday through Friday except for holidays. The NYSE is closed on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Washington’s Birthday, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas.

The time at which transactions and shares are priced and the time by which orders must be received may be changed in case of an emergency or if regular trading on the NYSE is stopped at a time other than its regularly scheduled closing time. The Trust reserves the right to reprocess purchase (including dividend reinvestments), redemption and exchange transactions that were processed at a NAV that is subsequently adjusted, and to recover amounts from (or distribute amounts to) shareholders accordingly based on the official closing NAV, as adjusted. The Trust reserves the right to advance the time by which purchase and redemption orders must be received for same business day credit as otherwise permitted by the SEC. In addition, the Fund may compute its NAV as of any time permitted pursuant to any exemption, order or statement of the SEC or its staff.

For the purpose of calculating the NAV per share of the Fund, investments are valued under valuation procedures established by the Trustees. Portfolio securities of the Fund for which accurate market quotations are readily available are generally valued as follows: (i) equity securities listed on any U.S. or foreign stock exchange or on the NASDAQ will be valued at the last sale price or the official closing price on the exchange or system in which they are principally traded on the valuation date. If there is no sale or official closing price on the valuation date, equity securities may be valued at the closing bid price for long positions or the closing ask price for short positions at the time closest to, but no later than, the NAV calculation time. If the relevant exchange or system has not closed by the above-mentioned time for determining the Fund’s NAV, the securities will be valued at the last sale price or official closing price, or if not available at the bid price at the time the NAV is determined; (ii) over-the-counter equity securities not quoted on NASDAQ will be valued at the last sale price on the valuation day or, if no sale occurs, at the last bid price for long positions or the last ask price for short positions, at the time closest to, but no later than, the NAV calculation time; (iii) equity securities for which no prices are obtained under sections (i) or (ii), including those for which a pricing service supplies no exchange quotation or a quotation that is believed by the Investment Adviser to not represent fair value, will be valued through the use of broker quotes, if possible; (iv) fixed income securities will be valued via electronic feeds from independent pricing services to the administrator using evaluated prices provided by a recognized pricing service and dealer-supplied quotations. Fixed income securities for which a pricing service either does not supply a quotation or supplies a quotation that is believed by the Investment Adviser to not represent fair value, will be valued through the use of broker quotes, if possible; (v) fixed income securities for which accurate market quotations are not readily available will be valued by the Investment Adviser based on Board-approved fair valuation policies that incorporate matrix pricing or valuation models, which utilize certain inputs and assumptions, including, but not limited to, yield or price with respect to comparable fixed income securities and various other factors; (vi) investments in open-end registered investment companies (excluding investments in ETFs) and investments in private funds are valued based on the NAV of those registered investment companies or private funds (which may use fair value pricing as discussed in their prospectuses or offering memoranda); (vii) spot foreign exchange rates will be valued using a pricing service at the time closest to, but no later than, the NAV calculation time, and forward foreign currency contracts will be valued by adding forward points provided by an independent pricing service to the spot foreign exchange rates and interpolating based upon maturity dates of each contract or by using outright forward rates, where available (if quotations are unavailable from a pricing service or, if the quotations by the Investment Adviser are believed to be inaccurate, the contracts will be valued by calculating the mean between the last bid and ask quotations supplied by at least one dealer in such contracts); (viii) exchange-traded futures contracts will be valued at the last published settlement price on the exchange where they are principally traded (or, if a sale occurs after the last published settlement price but before the NAV calculation time, at the last sale price at the time closest to, but no later than, the NAV calculation time); (ix) exchange-traded options contracts with settlement prices will be valued at the last published settlement price on the exchange where they are principally traded (or, if a sale occurs after the last published settlement price but before the NAV calculation time, at the last sale price at the time closest to, but no later than, the NAV calculation time); (x) exchange-traded options contracts without settlement prices will be valued at the midpoint of the bid and ask prices on the exchange where they are principally traded (or, in the absence of two-way trading, at the last bid price for long positions and the last ask price for short positions at the time closest to, but no later than, the NAV calculation time); (xi) over-the-counter derivatives, including, but not limited to, interest rate swaps, credit default swaps, total return index swaps, put/call option combos, total return basket swaps, index volatility and FX variance swaps, will be valued at their fair market value as determined using counterparty supplied valuations, an independent pricing service or valuation models which use market data inputs supplied by an independent pricing service; and (xii) all other instruments, including those for which a pricing service supplies no exchange quotation/price or a quotation that is believed by the Investment Adviser to be inaccurate, will be valued in accordance with the valuation procedures approved by the Board of Trustees. Securities may also be valued at fair value in

 

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accordance with procedures approved by the Board of Trustees where the Fund’s fund accounting agent is unable for other reasons to facilitate pricing of individual securities or calculate the Fund’s NAV, or if the Investment Adviser believes that such quotations do not accurately reflect fair value. Fair values determined in accordance with the valuation procedures approved by the Board of Trustees may be based on subjective judgments and it is possible that the prices resulting from such valuation procedures may differ materially from the value realized on a sale.

The value of all assets and liabilities expressed in foreign currencies will be converted into U.S. dollar values at current exchange rates of such currencies against U.S. dollars as of the close of regular trading on the NYSE (normally, but not always, 4:00 p.m. Eastern time). If such quotations are not available, the rate of exchange will be determined in good faith under procedures established by the Board of Trustees.

Generally, trading in securities on European, Asian and Far Eastern securities exchanges and on over-the-counter markets in these regions is substantially completed at various times prior to the close of business on each Business Day in New York (i.e., a day on which the NYSE is open for trading). In addition, European, Asian or Far Eastern securities trading generally or in a particular country or countries may not take place on all Business Days in New York. Furthermore, trading takes place in various foreign markets on days which are not Business Days in New York and days on which the Fund’s NAVs are not calculated. Such calculation does not take place contemporaneously with the determination of the prices of the majority of the portfolio securities used in such calculation. For investments in foreign equity securities, “fair value” prices will be provided by an independent third-party pricing (fair value) service (if available), in accordance with the fair value procedures approved by the Trustees. Fair value prices are used because many foreign markets operate at times that do not coincide with those of the major U.S. markets. Events that could affect the values of foreign portfolio holdings may occur between the close of the foreign market and the time of determining the NAV, and would not otherwise be reflected in the NAV. If the independent third-party pricing (fair value) service does not provide a fair value for a particular security or if the value does not meet the established criteria for the Fund, the most recent closing price for such a security on its principal exchange will generally be its fair value on such date.

The Investment Adviser, consistent with its procedures and applicable regulatory guidance, may (but need not) determine to make an adjustment to the previous closing prices of either domestic or foreign securities in light of significant events, to reflect what it believes to be the fair value of the securities at the time of determining the Fund’s NAV. Significant events that could affect a large number of securities in a particular market may include, but are not limited to: situations relating to one or more single issuers in a market sector; significant fluctuations in U.S. or foreign markets; market dislocations; market disruptions or unscheduled market closings; equipment failures; natural or man made disasters or acts of God; armed conflicts; governmental actions or other developments; as well as the same or similar events which may affect specific issuers or the securities markets even though not tied directly to the securities markets. Other significant events that could relate to a single issuer may include, but are not limited to: corporate actions such as reorganizations, mergers and buy-outs; corporate announcements, including those relating to earnings, products and regulatory news; significant litigation; ratings downgrades; bankruptcies; and trading limits or suspensions.

In general, fair value represents a good faith approximation of the current value of an asset and may be used when there is no public market or possibly no market at all for an asset. A security that is fair valued may be valued at a price higher or lower than actual market quotations or the value determined by other funds using their own fair valuation procedures or by other investors. The fair value of an asset may not be the price at which that asset is ultimately sold.

The proceeds received by the Fund and each other series of the Trust from the issue or sale of its shares, and all net investment income, realized and unrealized gain and proceeds thereof, subject only to the rights of creditors, will be specifically allocated to the Fund or particular series and constitute the underlying assets of that Fund or series. The underlying assets of the Fund will be segregated on the books of account, and will be charged with the liabilities in respect of the Fund and with a share of the general liabilities of the Trust. Expenses of the Trust with respect to the Fund and the other series of the Trust are generally allocated in proportion to the NAVs of the respective Fund or series except where allocations of expenses can otherwise be fairly made.

The Fund relies on various sources to calculate its NAV. The ability of the Fund’s fund accounting agent to calculate the NAV per share of each share class of the Fund is subject to operational risks associated with processing or human errors, systems or technology failures, cyber-attacks and errors caused by third party service providers, data sources, or trading counterparties. Such failures may result in delays in the calculation of the Fund’s NAV and/or the inability to calculate NAV over extended time periods. The Fund may be unable to recover any losses associated with such failures. In addition, if the third party service providers and/or data sources upon which the Fund directly or indirectly relies to calculate its NAV or price individual securities are unavailable or otherwise unable to calculate the NAV correctly, it may be necessary for alternative procedures to be utilized to price the securities at the time of determining the Fund’s NAV.

 

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Errors and Corrective Actions

The Investment Adviser will report to the Board of Trustees any material breaches of investment objective, policies or restrictions and any material errors in the calculation of the NAV of the Fund or the processing of purchases and redemptions. Depending on the nature and size of an error, corrective action may or may not be required. Corrective action may involve a prospective correction of the NAV only, correction of any erroneous NAV and compensation to the Fund, or correction of any erroneous NAV, compensation to the Fund and reprocessing of individual shareholder transactions. The Trust’s policies on errors and corrective action limit or restrict when corrective action will be taken or when compensation to the Fund or its shareholders will be paid, and not all mistakes will result in compensable errors. As a result, neither the Fund nor its shareholders who purchase or redeem shares during periods in which errors accrue or occur may be compensated in connection with the resolution of an error. Shareholders will generally not be notified of the occurrence of a compensable error or the resolution thereof absent unusual circumstances.

As discussed in more detail under “NET ASSET VALUE,” the Fund’s portfolio securities may be priced based on quotations for those securities provided by pricing services. There can be no guarantee that a quotation provided by a pricing service will be accurate.

SHARES OF THE TRUST

The Fund is a series of Goldman Sachs Trust, a Delaware statutory trust established by an Agreement and Declaration of Trust dated January 28, 1997. The Fund’s fiscal year end is December 31.

The Trustees have authority under the Trust’s Declaration of Trust to create and classify shares of beneficial interest in separate series, without further action by shareholders. The Trustees also have authority to classify and reclassify any series of shares into one or more classes of shares. As of April 29, 2020, the Trustees have classified the shares of the Fund into eight classes: Class A Shares, Class C Shares, Institutional Shares, Service Shares, Investor Shares, Class R Shares, Class R6 Shares and Class P Shares. Additional series and classes may be added in the future.

Each Class A Share, Class C Share, Institutional Share, Service Share, Investor Share, Class R Share, Class R6 Share and Class P Share of the Fund represents a proportionate interest in the assets belonging to the applicable class of the Fund. All expenses of the Fund are borne at the same rate by each class of shares, except that fees under the Service Plan and Shareholder Administration Plan are borne exclusively by Service Shares, fees under the Distribution and Service Plans are borne exclusively by Class A Shares, Class C Shares and Class R Shares, and transfer agency fees and expenses are borne at different rates by different share classes. The Trustees may determine in the future that it is appropriate to allocate other expenses differently among classes of shares and may do so to the extent consistent with the rules of the SEC and positions of the IRS. Each class of shares may have different minimum investment requirements and be entitled to different shareholder services. With limited exceptions, shares of a class may only be exchanged for shares of the same or an equivalent class of another series. See “Shareholder Guide” in the Prospectuses and “OTHER INFORMATION REGARDING MAXIMUM SALES CHARGE, PURCHASES, REDEMPTIONS, EXCHANGES AND DIVIDENDS” below. In addition, the fees and expenses set forth below for each class may be subject to variations, waivers and discounts, which may differ depending on whether you purchase shares through a financial intermediary. These variations, waivers and discounts are discussed more fully in the Prospectuses.

Institutional Shares may be purchased at NAV without a sales charge for accounts in the name of an investor or institution that is not compensated by the Fund under a Plan for services provided to the institution’s customers.

Service Shares may be purchased at NAV without a sales charge for accounts held in the name of an institution that, directly or indirectly, provides certain shareholder administration services and shareholder liaison services to its customers, including maintenance of account records and processing orders to purchase, redeem and exchange Service Shares. Service Shares bear the cost of service fees and shareholder administration fees at the annual rate of up to 0.25% and 0.25%, respectively, of the average daily net assets of the Fund attributable to Service Shares.

Class A Shares are sold with an initial sales charge of up to 5.5% through brokers and dealers who are members of the FINRA and certain other financial service firms that have sales agreements with Goldman Sachs. Class A Shares bear the cost of distribution and service fees at the aggregate rate of up to 0.25% of the average daily net assets of such Class A Shares. With respect to Class A Shares, the Distributor at its discretion may use compensation for distribution services paid under the Distribution and Service Plan for personal and account maintenance services and expenses so long as such total compensation under the Plan does not exceed the maximum cap on “service fees” imposed by FINRA.

 

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Class C Shares of the Fund are sold subject to a CDSC of up to 1.00% through brokers and dealers who are members of FINRA and certain other financial services firms that have sales arrangements with Goldman Sachs. Class C Shares bear the cost of distribution (Rule 12b-1) fees at the aggregate rate of up to 0.75% of the average daily net assets attributable to Class C Shares. Class C Shares also bear the cost of service fees at an annual rate of up to 0.25% of the average daily net assets attributable to Class C Shares.

Class R and Investor Shares are sold at NAV without a sales charge. Class R and Investor Shares are not sold directly to the public. Instead, Class R and Investor Shares generally are available only to Section 401(k), 403(b), 457, profit sharing, money purchase pension, tax- sheltered annuity, defined benefit pension, non-qualified deferred compensation plans and non-qualified pension plans or other employee benefit plans (including health savings accounts) or SIMPLE plans that are sponsored by one or more employers (including governmental or church employers) or employee organizations (“Employee Benefit Plans”). Investor Shares may also be sold to accounts established under a fee-based program that is sponsored and maintained by an Intermediary that has entered into a contractual relationship with Goldman Sachs to offer such shares through such programs (“Eligible Fee-Based Program”). Class R and Investor Shares are not available to traditional and Roth Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), SEPs and SARSEPs; except that Investor Shares are available to such accounts or plans to the extent they are purchased through an Eligible Fee- Based Program. Employee Benefit Plans and Eligible Fee-Based Programs must purchase Investor or Class R Shares through an Intermediary using a plan level or omnibus account.

Class R6 Shares are sold at NAV without a sales charge. Class R6 Shares are generally available to the following investors who purchase shares of the Fund through certain Intermediaries that have a contractual relationship with Goldman Sachs, including banks, trust companies, brokers, registered investment advisers and other financial institutions, using a plan level or omnibus account, unless otherwise noted below.

 

   

Investors who purchase Class R6 Shares through an Eligible Fee-Based Program;

 

   

Employee Benefit Plans;

 

   

Registered investment companies or bank collective trusts investing directly with the Transfer Agent;

 

   

Institutional investors, including companies, foundations, endowments, municipalities, trusts and other entities, investing at least $5,000,000 directly with the Transfer Agent; and

 

   

Other investors at the discretion of the Trust’s officers.

Class R6 Shares may not be available through certain Intermediaries. For the purposes of Class R6 Shares eligibility, the term “Intermediary” does not include Goldman Sachs or its affiliates and Class R6 Shares will not be available to clients of Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management, The Goldman Sachs Trust Company, N.A., The Goldman Sachs Trust Company of Delaware or The Ayco Company, L.P.

Class P Shares are sold at NAV without a sales charge. Class P Shares of the Fund are offered exclusively to clients of the Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management business unit that custody their positions at Goldman Sachs; clients of The Goldman Sachs Trust Company, N.A. or The Goldman Sachs Trust Company of Delaware that custody their positions at Goldman Sachs; or clients of The Ayco Company, L.P. that either custody their positions at Goldman Sachs or with certain intermediaries that are authorized to offer Class P Shares; or other investors at the discretion of the Trust’s officers.

Participants in an Employee Benefit Plan should contact their Employee Benefit Plan service provider for information regarding purchases, sales and exchanges of Investor, Class R and Class R6 Shares. Class R Shares bear the cost of distribution (Rule 12b-1) fees at the aggregate rate of up to 0.50% of the average daily net assets attributable to Class R Shares. With respect to Class R Shares, the Distributor at its discretion may use compensation for distribution services paid under the Distribution and Service Plan for personal and account maintenance services and expenses so long as such total compensation under the Plan does not exceed the maximum cap on “service fees” imposed by FINRA.

It is possible that an institution or its affiliate may offer different classes of shares (i.e., Class A, Class C, Class R, Investor, Class R6, Institutional, Service or Class P Shares) to its customers and thus receive different compensation with respect to different classes of shares of the Fund. Dividends paid by the Fund, if any, with respect to each class of shares will be calculated in the same manner, at the same time on the same day and will be the same amount, except for differences caused by the fact that the respective transfer agency and Plan fees relating to a particular class will be borne exclusively by that class. Similarly, the NAV per share may differ depending upon the class of shares purchased.

Certain aspects of the shares may be altered after advance notice to shareholders if it is deemed necessary in order to satisfy certain tax regulatory requirements.

When issued for the consideration described in the Fund’s Prospectuses, shares are fully paid and non-assessable. The Trustees may, however, cause shareholders, or shareholders of a particular series or class, to pay certain custodian, transfer agency, servicing or similar charges by setting off the same against declared but unpaid dividends or by reducing share ownership (or by both means). In the event of liquidation, shareholders are entitled to share pro rata in the net assets of the applicable class of the Fund available for distribution to such shareholders. All shares are freely transferable and have no preemptive, subscription or conversion rights. The Trustees may require Shareholders to redeem Shares for any reason under terms set by the Trustees.

 

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In the interest of economy and convenience, the Trust does not issue certificates representing the Fund’s shares. Instead, the Transfer Agent maintains a record of each shareholder’s ownership. Each shareholder receives confirmation of purchase and redemption orders from the Transfer Agent. Fund shares and any distributions paid by the Fund are reflected in account statements from the Transfer Agent.

The Act requires that where more than one series of shares exists, each series must be preferred over all other series in respect of assets specifically allocated to such series. In addition, Rule 18f-2 under the Act provides that any matter required to be submitted by the provisions of the Act or applicable state law, or otherwise, to the holders of the outstanding voting securities of an investment company such as the Trust shall not be deemed to have been effectively acted upon unless approved by the holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of each series affected by such matter. Rule 18f-2 further provides that a series shall be deemed to be affected by a matter unless the interests of each series in the matter are substantially identical or the matter does not affect any interest of such series. However, Rule 18f-2 exempts the selection of independent public accountants, the approval of principal distribution contracts and the election of trustees from the separate voting requirements of Rule 18f-2.

The Trust is not required to hold annual meetings of shareholders and does not intend to hold such meetings. In the event that a meeting of shareholders is held, each share of the Trust will be entitled, as determined by the Trustees without the vote or consent of the shareholders, either to one vote for each share or to one vote for each dollar of NAV represented by such share on all matters presented to shareholders including the election of Trustees (this method of voting being referred to as “dollar based voting”). However, to the extent required by the Act or otherwise determined by the Trustees, series and classes of the Trust will vote separately from each other. Shareholders of the Trust do not have cumulative voting rights in the election of Trustees. Meetings of shareholders of the Trust, or any series or class thereof, may be called by the Trustees, certain officers or upon the written request of holders of 10% or more of the shares entitled to vote at such meetings. The Trustees will call a special meeting of shareholders for the purpose of electing Trustees, if, at any time, less than a majority of Trustees holding office at the time were elected by shareholders. The shareholders of the Trust will have voting rights only with respect to the limited number of matters specified in the Declaration of Trust and such other matters as the Trustees may determine or may be required by law.

The Declaration of Trust provides for indemnification of Trustees, officers, employees and agents of the Trust unless the recipient is adjudicated (i) to be liable by reason of willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of such person’s office or (ii) not to have acted in good faith in the reasonable belief that such person’s actions were in the best interest of the Trust. The Declaration of Trust provides that, if any shareholder or former shareholder of any series is held personally liable solely by reason of being or having been a shareholder and not because of the shareholder’s acts or omissions or for some other reason, the shareholder or former shareholder (or the shareholder’s heirs, executors, administrators, legal representatives or general successors) shall be held harmless from and indemnified against all loss and expense arising from such liability. The Trust, acting on behalf of any affected series, must, upon request by such shareholder, assume the defense of any claim made against such shareholder for any act or obligation of the series and satisfy any judgment thereon from the assets of the series.

The Declaration of Trust permits the termination of the Trust or of any series or class of the Trust (i) by a majority of the affected shareholders at a meeting of shareholders of the Trust, series or class; or (ii) by a majority of the Trustees without shareholder approval if the Trustees determine, in their sole discretion, that such action is in the best interest of the Trust, such series, such class or their respective shareholders. The Trustees may consider such factors as they, in their sole discretion, deem appropriate in making such determination, including (i) the inability of the Trust or any series or class to maintain its assets at an appropriate size; (ii) changes in laws or regulations governing the Trust, series or class or affecting assets of the type in which it invests; or (iii) economic developments or trends having a significant adverse impact on the business or operations of the Trust or series.

The Declaration of Trust authorizes the Trustees, without shareholder approval, to cause the Trust, or any series thereof, to merge or consolidate with any corporation, association, trust or other organization or sell or exchange all or substantially all of the property belonging to the Trust or any series thereof. In addition, the Trustees, without shareholder approval, may adopt a master-feeder structure by investing all or a portion of the assets of a series of the Trust in the securities of another open-end investment company with substantially the same investment objective, restrictions and policies.

The Declaration of Trust permits the Trustees to amend the Declaration of Trust without a shareholder vote. However, shareholders of the Trust have the right to vote on any amendment (i) that would adversely affect the voting rights of shareholders; (ii) that is required by law to be approved by shareholders; (iii) that would amend the provisions of the Declaration of Trust regarding amendments and supplements thereto; or (iv) that the Trustees determine to submit to shareholders.

 

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The Trustees may appoint separate Trustees with respect to one or more series or classes of the Trust’s shares (the “Series Trustees”). Series Trustees may, but are not required to, serve as Trustees of the Trust or any other series or class of the Trust. To the extent provided by the Trustees in the appointment of Series Trustees, the Series Trustees may have, to the exclusion of any other Trustees of the Trust, all the powers and authorities of Trustees under the Declaration of Trust with respect to such Series or Class, but may have no power or authority with respect to any other series or class.

Shareholder and Trustee Liability

Under Delaware Law, the shareholders of the Fund are not generally subject to liability for the debts or obligations of the Trust. Similarly, Delaware law provides that a series of the Trust will not be liable for the debts or obligations of any other series of the Trust. However, no similar statutory or other authority limiting statutory trust shareholder liability exists in other states. As a result, to the extent that a Delaware statutory trust or a shareholder is subject to the jurisdiction of courts of such other states, the courts may not apply Delaware law and may thereby subject the Delaware statutory trust shareholders to liability. To guard against this risk, the Declaration of Trust contains an express disclaimer of shareholder liability for acts or obligations of a series. Notice of such disclaimer will normally be given in each agreement, obligation or instrument entered into or executed by a series of the Trust. The Declaration of Trust provides for indemnification by the relevant series for all loss suffered by a shareholder as a result of an obligation of the series. The Declaration of Trust also provides that a series shall, upon request, assume the defense of any claim made against any shareholder for any act or obligation of the series and satisfy any judgment thereon. In view of the above, the risk of personal liability of shareholders of a Delaware statutory trust is remote.

In addition to the requirements under Delaware law, the Declaration of Trust provides that shareholders of a series may bring a derivative action on behalf of the series only if the following conditions are met: (i) shareholders eligible to bring such derivative action under Delaware law who hold at least 10% of the outstanding shares of the series, or 10% of the outstanding shares of the class to which such action relates, shall join in the request for the Trustees to commence such action; and (ii) the Trustees must be afforded a reasonable amount of time to consider such shareholder request and to investigate the basis of such claim. The Trustees will be entitled to retain counsel or other advisers in considering the merits of the request and may require an undertaking by the shareholders making such request to reimburse the series for the expense of any such advisers in the event that the Trustees determine not to bring such action.

The Declaration of Trust further provides that the Trustees will not be liable for errors of judgment or mistakes of fact or law, but nothing in the Declaration of Trust protects a Trustee against liability to which he or she would otherwise be subject by reason of willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence, or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of his or her office.

TAXATION

The following is a summary of the principal U.S. federal income tax considerations generally affecting the Fund, the underlying funds and the purchase, ownership and disposition of shares that are not described in the Prospectuses. The discussions below and in the Prospectuses are not intended as substitutes for careful tax planning. This summary does not address special tax rules applicable to certain classes of investors, such as tax-exempt entities, insurance companies and financial institutions. Each prospective shareholder is urged to consult his or her own tax adviser with respect to the specific federal, state, local and foreign tax consequences of investing in the Fund. The summary is based on the laws in effect as of April 29, 2020, which are subject to change. Future changes in tax laws may adversely impact the Fund and its shareholders.

Fund Taxation

The Fund and each underlying fund is a separate taxable entity. The Fund and the underlying funds have elected to be treated and intends to qualify for each taxable year as a regulated investment company under Subchapter M of Subtitle A, Chapter 1 of the Code. To qualify as such, the Fund and the underlying funds must satisfy certain requirements relating to the sources of its income, diversification of its assets and distribution of its income to shareholders. As a regulated investment company, the Fund and the underlying funds generally will not be subject to federal income or excise tax on any net investment income and net realized capital gains that are distributed to its shareholders in accordance with certain timing requirements of the Code.

There are certain tax requirements that the Fund and an underlying fund must follow if it is to avoid federal taxation. In their efforts to adhere to these requirements, the underlying funds may have to limit their investment activities in some types of instruments. Qualification as a regulated investment company under the Code requires, among other things, that the Fund and an underlying fund (i) derive at least 90% of its gross income for each taxable year from dividends, interest, payments with respect to securities loans, gains from the sale or other

 

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disposition of stocks or securities or foreign currencies, net income from qualified publicly traded partnerships or other income (including but not limited to gains from options, futures, and forward contracts) derived with respect to the underlying fund’s business of investing in stocks, securities or currencies (the “90% gross income test”); and (ii) diversify its holdings so that in general, at the close of each quarter of its taxable year, (a) at least 50% of the fair market value of the underlying fund’s total (gross) assets is comprised of cash, cash items, U.S. Government Securities, securities of other regulated investment companies and other securities limited in respect of any one issuer to an amount not greater in value than 5% of the value of such underlying fund’s total assets and to not more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer, and (b) not more than 25% of the value of its total (gross) assets is invested in the securities of any one issuer (other than U.S. Government Securities and securities of other regulated investment companies), two or more issuers controlled by the underlying fund and engaged in the same, similar or related trades or businesses, or certain publicly traded partnerships.

For purposes of the 90% gross income test, income that the Fund or an underlying fund earns from equity interests in certain entities that are not treated as corporations or as qualified publicly traded partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes (e.g., partnerships or trusts) will generally have the same character for the Fund or an underlying fund as in the hands of such an entity; consequently, the Fund or the underlying fund may be required to limit its equity investments in any such entities that earn fee income, rental income, or other nonqualifying income. In addition, future Treasury regulations could provide that qualifying income under the 90% gross income test will not include gains from foreign currency transactions that are not directly related to the Fund or an underlying fund’s principal business of investing in stock or securities or options and futures with respect to stock or securities. Using foreign currency positions or entering into foreign currency options, futures and forward or swap contracts for purposes other than hedging currency risk with respect to securities held or anticipated to be acquired by the Fund or an underlying fund may not qualify as “directly-related” under these tests.

If the Fund or an underlying fund complies with the foregoing provisions, then in any taxable year in which the Fund or an underlying fund distributes, in compliance with the Code’s timing and other requirements, an amount at least equal to the sum of 90% of its “investment company taxable income” (which includes dividends, taxable interest, taxable accrued original issue discount and market discount income, income from securities lending, any net short-term capital gain in excess of net long-term capital loss, certain net realized foreign exchange gains and any other taxable income other than “net capital gain,” as defined below, and is reduced by deductible expenses), plus 90% of the excess of its gross tax-exempt interest income (if any) over certain disallowed deductions, the Fund or an underlying fund (but not its shareholders) generally will be relieved of U.S. federal income tax on any income of the Fund or underlying fund, including long-term capital gains, distributed to shareholders. If, instead, the Fund or an underlying fund retains any investment company taxable income or “net capital gain” (the excess of net long-term capital gain over net short-term capital loss), it will be subject to a tax at regular corporate rates on the amount retained. Because there are some uncertainties regarding the computation of the amounts deemed distributed to shareholders for these purposes — including, in particular, uncertainties regarding the portion, if any, of amounts paid in redemption of shares that should be treated as such distributions – there can be no assurance that the Fund and an underlying fund will avoid corporate-level tax in each year.

If the Fund or an underlying fund retains any net capital gain, the Fund may designate the retained amount as undistributed capital gains in a notice to its shareholders who, if subject to U.S. federal income tax on long-term capital gains, (i) will be required to include in income for federal income tax purposes, as long-term capital gain, their shares of such undistributed amount, and (ii) will be entitled to credit their proportionate shares of the tax paid by the Fund or underlying fund against their U.S. federal income tax liabilities, if any, and to claim refunds to the extent the credit exceeds such liabilities. For U.S. federal income tax purposes, the tax basis of shares owned by a shareholder of the Fund or an underlying fund will be increased by the amount of any such undistributed net capital gain included in the shareholder’s gross income and decreased by the federal income tax paid by the Fund or underlying fund (as applicable) on that amount of net capital gain.

The Fund and each underlying fund intends to distribute for each taxable year to its shareholders all or substantially all of its investment company taxable income, net capital gain and any net tax-exempt interest. Exchange control or other foreign laws, regulations or practices may restrict repatriation of investment income, capital or the proceeds of securities sales by foreign investors such as the Real Estate Securities, Global Real Estate Securities, Global Infrastructure, Local Emerging Markets Debt, International Real Estate Securities, High Yield, Core Fixed Income, International Equity Insights, Emerging Markets Equity Insights, International Small Cap Insights, Global Income, Emerging Markets Debt or Alternative Premia Funds and may therefore make it more difficult for such an underlying fund to satisfy the distribution requirements described above, as well as the excise tax distribution requirements described below. However, the Fund and each underlying fund generally expects to be able to obtain sufficient cash to satisfy such requirements from new investors, the sale of securities or other sources. If for any taxable year the Fund or an underlying fund does not qualify as a regulated investment company, it will be taxed on all of its investment company taxable income and net capital gain at corporate rates without any deduction for dividends paid, and its distributions to shareholders will generally be taxable as ordinary dividends to the extent of its current and accumulated earnings and profits. The amounts of the Fund’s and each underlying fund’s distributions are driven by federal tax requirements. Such required taxable distributions to shareholders may be significant even if the Fund’s overall performance for the period is negative.

 

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In order to avoid a 4% federal excise tax, the Fund and an underlying fund must generally distribute (or be deemed to have distributed) by December 31 of each calendar year an amount at least equal to the sum of 98% of its taxable ordinary income (taking into account certain deferrals and elections) for such year, 98.2% of the excess of its capital gains over its capital losses (generally computed on the basis of the one-year period ending on October 31 of such year), and all taxable ordinary income and the excess of capital gains over capital losses for all previous years that were not distributed for those years and on which the Fund or an underlying fund paid no federal income tax. For federal income tax purposes, dividends declared by the Fund or an underlying fund in October, November or December to shareholders of record on a specified date in such a month and paid during January of the following year are taxable to such shareholders, and deductible by the Fund, as if paid on December 31 of the year declared. The Fund and an underlying fund anticipates that it will generally make timely distributions of income and capital gains in compliance with these requirements so that it will generally not be required to pay the excise tax.

For federal income tax purposes, the Fund or an underlying fund is permitted to carry forward a net capital loss in any year to offset its own capital gains, if any, during the eight years following the year of the loss. Capital loss carryforwards arising on taxable years of the Fund or an underlying fund beginning after December 22, 2010 will generally be able to be carried forward indefinitely. As of December 31, 2019, the Fund did not have any capital loss carryforwards.

Gains and losses on the sale, lapse, or other termination of options and futures contracts, options thereon and certain forward contracts (except certain foreign currency options, forward contracts and futures contracts) will generally be treated as capital gains and losses. Certain of the futures contracts, forward contracts and options held by an underlying fund will be required to be “marked-to-market” for federal income tax purposes, that is, treated as having been sold at their fair market value on the last day of the underlying fund’s taxable year (or, for excise tax purposes, on the last day of the relevant period). These provisions may require an underlying fund to recognize income or gains without a concurrent receipt of cash. Any gain or loss recognized on actual or deemed sales of these futures contracts, forward contracts, or options will (except for certain foreign currency options, forward contracts, and futures contracts) be treated as 60% long-term capital gain or loss and 40% short-term capital gain or loss. As a result of certain hedging transactions entered into by an underlying fund, the underlying fund may be required to defer the recognition of losses on futures contracts, forward contracts, and options or underlying securities or foreign currencies to the extent of any unrecognized gains on related positions held by such underlying fund and the characterization of gains or losses as long-term or short-term may be changed. The tax provisions described in this paragraph may affect the amount, timing and character of an underlying fund’s distributions to shareholders. Application of certain requirements for qualification as a regulated investment company and/or these tax rules to certain investment practices, such as dollar rolls, or certain derivatives such as interest rate swaps, floors, caps and collars and currency, total return, mortgage or index swaps and options on swaps may be unclear in some respects, and an underlying fund may therefore be required to limit its participation in those kinds of transactions. Certain tax elections may be available to an underlying fund to mitigate some of the unfavorable consequences described in this paragraph.

Section 988 of the Code contains special tax rules applicable to certain foreign currency transactions and instruments that may affect the amount, timing and character of income, gain or loss recognized by an underlying fund. Under these rules, foreign exchange gain or loss realized with respect to foreign currencies and certain futures and options thereon, foreign currency-denominated debt instruments, foreign currency forward contracts, and foreign currency-denominated payables and receivables will generally be treated as ordinary income or loss, although in some cases elections may be available that would alter this treatment. If a net foreign exchange loss treated as ordinary loss under Section 988 of the Code were to exceed an underlying fund’s investment company taxable income (computed without regard to such loss) for a taxable year, the resulting loss would not be deductible by the underlying fund or its shareholders in future years. Net loss, if any, from certain foreign currency transactions or instruments could exceed net investment income otherwise calculated for accounting purposes with the result being either no dividends being paid or a portion of an underlying fund’s dividends being treated as a return of capital for tax purposes, nontaxable to the extent of a shareholder’s tax basis in his shares and, once such basis is exhausted, generally giving rise to capital gains.

An underlying fund’s investment in zero coupon securities, deferred interest securities, certain structured securities or other securities bearing original issue discount or, if an underlying fund elects to include market discount in income currently, market discount, as well as any “marked-to-market” gain from certain options, futures or forward contracts, as described above, will in many cases cause it to realize income or gain before the receipt of cash payments with respect to these securities or contracts. In order to obtain cash to enable it to distribute this income or gain, to maintain its qualification as a regulated investment company and to avoid federal income or excise taxes, the underlying fund may be required to liquidate portfolio investments sooner than it might otherwise have done.

Investments in lower-rated securities may present special tax issues for an underlying fund to the extent actual or anticipated defaults may be more likely with respect to such securities. Tax rules are not entirely clear about issues such as when an underlying fund may cease to accrue interest, original issue discount, or market discount; when and to what extent deductions may be taken for bad debts or worthless securities; how payments received on obligations in default should be allocated between principal and income; and whether exchanges of debt obligations in a workout context are taxable. These and other issues will generally need to be addressed by an underlying fund, in the event it invests in such securities, so as to seek to eliminate or minimize any adverse tax consequences.

 

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If, as may occur for certain of the underlying funds, more than 50% of an underlying fund’s total assets at the close of any taxable year consists of stock or securities of foreign corporations, the underlying fund may file an election with the IRS pursuant to which shareholders of the underlying fund would be required to (i) include in ordinary gross income (in addition to taxable dividends actually received) their pro rata shares of foreign income taxes paid by the underlying fund that are treated as income taxes under U.S. tax regulations (which excludes, for example, stamp taxes, securities transaction taxes, and similar taxes) even though not actually received by such shareholders, and (ii) treat such respective pro rata portions as foreign income taxes paid by them.

If an underlying fund makes this election, its shareholders (including the Fund) may then deduct such pro rata portions of qualified foreign taxes in computing their taxable incomes, or, alternatively, use them as foreign tax credits, subject to holding period and other applicable limitations, against their U.S. federal income taxes. Shareholders who do not itemize deductions for federal income tax purposes will not, however, be able to deduct their pro rata portion of foreign taxes paid by an underlying fund, although such shareholders will be required to include their shares of such taxes in gross income if the election is made.

While the Fund will be able to deduct the foreign taxes that it will be treated as receiving from an underlying fund if the election is made, if at least 50% of the value of the Fund’s total assets at the close of each quarter of its taxable year is represented by interests in other regulated investment companies, the Fund will itself be able to elect to treat its foreign taxes as paid by its shareholders. If the Fund makes this election, the shareholders of the Fund will have an option of claiming a foreign tax credit for foreign taxes paid by the underlying funds.

If a shareholder chooses to take credit for the foreign taxes deemed paid by such shareholder as a result of any such election by the Fund, the amount of the credit that may be claimed in any year may not exceed the same proportion of the U.S. tax against which such credit is taken which the shareholder’s taxable income from foreign sources (but not in excess of the shareholder’s entire taxable income) bears to his entire taxable income. For this purpose, distributions from long-term and short-term capital gains or foreign currency gains by the Fund will generally not be treated as income from foreign sources. This foreign tax credit limitation may also be applied separately to certain specific categories of foreign-source income and the related foreign taxes. As a result of these rules, which have different effects depending upon each shareholder’s particular tax situation, certain shareholders of the Fund may not be able to claim a credit for the full amount of their proportionate share of the foreign taxes paid by the Fund even if the election is made by the Fund.

Shareholders who are not liable for U.S. federal income taxes, including retirement plans, other tax-exempt shareholders and non-U.S. shareholders, will ordinarily not benefit from the foregoing Fund election with respect to foreign taxes. Each year, if any, that the Fund files the election described above, shareholders will be notified of the amount of (1) each shareholder’s pro rata share of qualified foreign taxes paid by the Fund and (2) the portion of Fund dividends that represents income from foreign sources.

If an underlying fund acquires stock (including, under proposed regulations, an option to acquire stock such as is inherent in a convertible bond) in certain foreign corporations that receive at least 75% of their annual gross income from passive sources (such as interest, dividends, rents, royalties or capital gain) or hold at least 50% of their assets in investments producing such passive income (“passive foreign investment companies”), the underlying fund could be subject to federal income tax and additional interest charges on “excess distributions” received from such companies or gain from the sale of stock in such companies, even if all income or gain actually received by the underlying fund is timely distributed to its shareholders. The underlying fund would not be able to pass through to its shareholders any credit or deduction for such a tax. In some cases, elections may be available that would ameliorate these adverse tax consequences, but such elections would require the underlying fund to include each year certain amounts as income or gain (subject to the distribution requirements described above) without a concurrent receipt of cash. Each underlying fund may attempt to limit and/or to manage its holdings in passive foreign investment companies to minimize its tax liability or maximize its return from these investments.

Taxable U.S. Shareholders - Distributions

For U.S. federal income tax purposes, distributions by the Fund, whether reinvested in additional shares or paid in cash, generally will be taxable to shareholders who are subject to tax. Shareholders receiving a distribution in the form of newly issued shares will be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as receiving a distribution in an amount equal to the amount of cash they would have received had they elected to receive cash and will have a cost basis in each share received equal to such amount divided by the number of shares received.

 

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In general, distributions from investment company taxable income for the year will be taxable as ordinary income. However, distributions to noncorporate shareholders attributable to dividends received by the Fund or the underlying funds from U.S. and certain foreign corporations will generally be taxed at the long-term capital gain rate (described below), as long as certain other requirements are met. For these lower rates to apply, the noncorporate shareholders must have owned their Fund or underlying fund shares for at least 61 days during the 121-day period beginning 60 days before the Fund’s or underlying fund’s ex-dividend date and the Fund or underlying fund must also have owned the underlying stock for this same period beginning 60 days before the ex-dividend date for the stock. The amount of the Fund’s or an underlying fund’s distributions that otherwise qualify for these lower rates may be reduced as a result of the Fund’s securities lending activities or a high portfolio turnover rate.

Distributions reported to shareholders as derived from the Fund’s or an underlying fund’s dividend income, if any, that would be eligible for the dividends received deduction if the Fund or underlying fund were not a regulated investment company may be eligible for the dividends received deduction for corporate shareholders. The dividends received deduction, if available, is reduced to the extent the shares with respect to which the dividends are received are treated as debt-financed under federal income tax law and is eliminated if the shares are deemed to have been held for less than a minimum period, generally 46 days. The dividends received deduction also may be reduced as a result of the Fund’s or an underlying fund’s securities lending activities or a high portfolio turnover rate. The dividend may, if it is treated as an “extraordinary dividend” under the Code, reduce a shareholder’s tax basis in its shares of the Fund or underlying fund. Capital gain dividends (i.e., dividends from net capital gain), if reported as such to shareholders, will be taxed to shareholders as long-term capital gain regardless of how long shares have been held by shareholders, but are not eligible for the dividends received deduction for corporations. The maximum individual rate applicable to long-term capital gains is generally either 15% or 20%, depending on whether the individual’s income exceeds certain threshold amounts. Distributions, if any, that are in excess of the Fund’s or an underlying fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits will first reduce a shareholder’s tax basis in his shares and, after such basis is reduced to zero, will generally constitute capital gains to a shareholder who holds his shares as capital assets.

If the Fund receives dividends from an underlying fund that qualifies as a regulated investment company, and the underlying fund designates such dividends as qualified dividend income or as eligible for the dividends received deduction, then the Fund is permitted in turn to designate a portion of its distributions as qualified dividend income and/or as eligible for the dividends received deduction, provided the Fund meets holding period and other requirements with respect to shares of the underlying fund.

Different tax treatment, including penalties on certain excess contributions and deferrals, certain pre-retirement and post-retirement distributions and certain prohibited transactions, is accorded to accounts maintained as qualified retirement plans. Shareholders should consult their tax advisers for more information.

Under recent tax legislation, individuals and certain other noncorporate entities are generally eligible for a 20% deduction with respect to ordinary dividends received from REITs (“qualified REIT dividends”) and certain taxable income from MLPs. The IRS has recently issued proposed regulations permitting a regulated investment company to pass through to its shareholders qualified REIT dividends eligible for the 20% deduction. However, the proposed regulations do not provide a mechanism for a regulated investment company to pass through to its shareholders income from MLPs that would be eligible for such deduction if received directly by the shareholders.

Taxable U.S. Shareholders - Sale of Shares

When a shareholder’s shares are sold, redeemed or otherwise disposed of in a transaction that is treated as a sale for tax purposes, the shareholder will generally recognize gain or loss equal to the difference between the shareholder’s adjusted tax basis in the shares and the cash, or fair market value of any property, received. (To aid in computing that tax basis, a shareholder should generally retain its account statements for the period that it holds shares.) If the shareholder holds the shares as a capital asset at the time of sale, the character of the gain or loss should be capital, and treated as long-term if the shareholder’s holding period is more than one year and short-term otherwise, subject to the rules below. Shareholders should consult their own tax advisers with reference to their particular circumstances to determine whether a redemption (including an exchange) or other disposition of Fund shares is properly treated as a sale for tax purposes, as is assumed in this discussion.

Certain special tax rules may apply to a shareholder’s capital gains or losses on Fund shares. If a shareholder receives a capital gain dividend with respect to shares and such shares have a tax holding period of six months or less at the time of a sale or redemption of such shares, then any loss the shareholder realizes on the sale or redemption will be treated as a long-term capital loss to the extent of such capital gain dividend. All or a portion of any sales load paid upon the purchase of shares of the Fund will generally not be taken into account in determining gain or loss on the redemption or exchange of such shares within 90 days after their purchase to the extent the redemption proceeds are reinvested, or the exchange is effected, on or before January 31 of the calendar year following the calendar year in which the original stock is disposed of without payment of an additional sales load pursuant to the reinvestment or exchange privilege. The load not taken into account will be added to the tax basis of the newly acquired shares. Additionally, any loss realized on a sale or redemption of shares of the Fund may be disallowed under “wash sale” rules to the extent the shares disposed of are replaced with other shares of the same Fund within a period of 61 days beginning 30 days before and ending 30 days after the shares are disposed of, such as pursuant to a dividend reinvestment in shares of such Fund. If disallowed, the loss will be reflected in an adjustment to the basis of the shares acquired.

 

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Backup Withholding

The Fund may be required to withhold, as “backup withholding,” federal income tax, currently at a 24% rate, from dividends (including capital gain dividends) and share redemption and exchange proceeds to individuals and other non-exempt shareholders who fail to furnish the Fund with a correct taxpayer identification number (“TIN”) certified under penalties of perjury, or if the IRS or a broker notifies the Fund that the payee is subject to backup withholding as a result of failing properly to report interest or dividend income to the IRS or that the TIN furnished by the payee to the Fund is incorrect, or if (when required to do so) the payee fails to certify under penalties of perjury that it is not subject to backup withholding. The Fund may refuse to accept an application that does not contain any required TIN or certification that the TIN provided is correct. If the backup withholding provisions are applicable, any such dividends and proceeds, whether paid in cash or reinvested in additional shares, will be reduced by the amounts required to be withheld. Any amounts withheld may be credited against a shareholder’s U.S. federal income tax liability. If a shareholder does not have a TIN, it should apply for one immediately by contacting the local office of the Social Security Administration or the IRS. Backup withholding could apply to payments relating to a shareholder’s account while the shareholder is awaiting receipt of a TIN. Special rules apply for certain entities. For example, for an account established under a Uniform Gifts or Transfer to Minors Act, the TIN of the minor should be furnished. In addition, non-US shareholders will be required to provide the Fund with the proper IRS Form W-8 or appropriate substitute (as discussed below) in order to avail themselves of this withholding tax exemption.

Medicare Tax

An additional 3.8% Medicare tax is imposed on certain net investment income (including ordinary dividends and capital gain distributions received from the Fund and net gains from redemptions or other taxable dispositions of Fund shares) of US individuals, estates and trusts to the extent that such person’s “modified adjusted gross income” (in the case of an individual) or “adjusted gross income” (in the case of an estate or trust) exceeds certain threshold amounts.

Non-U.S. Shareholders

The discussion above relates solely to U.S. federal income tax law as it applies to “U.S. persons” subject to tax under such law.

Except as discussed below, distributions to shareholders who, as to the United States, are not “U.S. persons” (i.e., are nonresident aliens, foreign corporations, fiduciaries of foreign trusts or estates or other non-U.S. investors) generally will be subject to U.S. federal withholding tax at the rate of 30% on distributions treated as ordinary income unless the tax is reduced or eliminated pursuant to a tax treaty or the distributions are effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business of the shareholder. However, distributions of net capital gain (the excess of any net long-term capital gain over any net short-term capital losses), including amounts retained by the Fund which are designated as undistributed capital gains, to a non-U.S. shareholder will not be subject to U.S. federal income or withholding tax unless the distributions are effectively connected with the shareholder’s trade or business in the United States or, in the case of a shareholder who is a nonresident alien individual, the shareholder is present in the United States for 183 days or more during the taxable year and certain other conditions are met.

Non-U.S. shareholders generally are not subject to U.S. federal income tax withholding on certain distributions of interest income and/or short-term capital gains that are designated by the Fund. It is expected that the Fund will generally make designations of short- term gains, to the extent permitted, but the Fund does not intend to make designations of any distributions attributable to interest income. Therefore, all distributions of interest income will be subject to withholding when paid to non-U.S. investors.

Any capital gain realized by a non-U.S. shareholder upon a sale or redemption of shares of the Fund will not be subject to U.S. federal income or withholding tax unless the gain is effectively connected with the shareholder’s trade or business in the U.S., or in the case of a shareholder who is a nonresident alien individual, the shareholder is present in the U.S. for 183 days or more during the taxable year and certain other conditions are met.

Non-U.S. persons who fail to furnish the Fund with the proper IRS Form W-8 (i.e., W-8 BEN, W-8 BEN-E, W-8 ECI, W-8 IMY or W-8 EXP) or an acceptable substitute may be subject to backup withholding, (currently at a rate of 24%) rate, for dividends (including on capital gain dividends) and the proceeds of redemptions and exchanges.

Also, non-U.S. shareholders may be subject to estate tax with respect to their Fund shares.

 

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The Fund is required to withhold U.S. tax (at a 30% rate) on payments of dividends made to certain non-U.S. entities that fail to comply (or be deemed compliant) with extensive new reporting and withholding requirements designed to inform the U.S. Department of the Treasury of U.S.-owned foreign investment accounts. Shareholders may be requested to provide additional information to the Fund to enable the Fund to determine whether withholding is required.

Each shareholder who is not a U.S. person should consult his or her tax adviser regarding the U.S. and non-U.S. tax consequences of ownership of shares of and receipt of distributions from the Fund.

State and Local

The Fund and an underlying fund may be subject to state or local taxes in jurisdictions in which the underlying fund is deemed to be doing business. In addition, in those states or localities that impose income taxes, the treatment of the Fund or an underlying fund and its shareholders under those jurisdictions’ tax laws may differ from the treatment under federal income tax laws, and investment in the Fund or underlying fund may have tax consequences for shareholders that are different from those of a direct investment in the securities held by the Fund or underlying fund. Shareholders should consult their own tax advisers concerning state and local tax matters.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

The audited financial statements and related reports of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC, independent registered public accounting firm, contained in the Fund’s 2019 Annual Report are hereby incorporated by reference.

The financial statements in the Fund’s Annual Report have been incorporated herein by reference in reliance upon such report given upon the authority of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC as an expert in accounting and auditing. No other portions of any Annual Report are incorporated by reference herein. A copy of the Fund’s Annual Report (when available) may be obtained upon request and without charge by writing Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, 71 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60606 or by calling Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, at the telephone number on the back cover of the Fund’s Prospectuses.

PROXY VOTING

The Trust, on behalf of the Fund, has delegated the voting of portfolio securities to the Investment Adviser. For client accounts for which the Investment Adviser has voting discretion, the Investment Adviser has adopted policies and procedures (the “Proxy Voting Policy”) for the voting of proxies. Under the Proxy Voting Policy, the Investment Adviser’s guiding principles in performing proxy voting are to make decisions that favor proposals that in the Investment Adviser’s view tend to maximize a company’s shareholder value and are not influenced by conflicts of interest. To implement these guiding principles for investments in publicly-traded equities, the Investment Adviser has developed customized proxy voting guidelines (the “Guidelines”) that it generally applies when voting on behalf of client accounts. Attached as Appendix B is a summary of the Guidelines. These Guidelines address a wide variety of individual topics, including, among other matters, shareholder voting rights, anti-takeover defenses, board structures, the election of directors, executive and director compensation, reorganizations, mergers, issues of corporate social responsibility and various shareholder proposals. The Guidelines embody the positions and factors the Investment Adviser generally considers important in casting proxy votes.

The Proxy Voting Policy, including the Guidelines, is reviewed periodically to ensure that it continues to be consistent with the Investment Adviser’s guiding principles.

The Investment Adviser has retained a third-party proxy voting service (“Proxy Service”), currently Institutional Shareholder Services, to assist in the implementation and administration of certain proxy voting-related functions including, without limitation, operational, recordkeeping and reporting services. The Proxy Service also prepares a written analysis and recommendation (a “Recommendation”) of each proxy vote that reflects the Proxy Service’s application of the Guidelines to particular proxy issues. While it is the Investment Adviser’s policy generally to follow the Guidelines and Recommendations from the Proxy Service, the Investment Adviser’s portfolio management teams (“Portfolio Management Teams”) may on certain proxy votes seek approval to diverge from the Guidelines or a Recommendation by following an “override” process. Such decisions are subject to a review and approval process, including a determination that the decision is not influenced by any conflict of interest. A Portfolio Management Team that receives approval through the override process to cast a proxy vote that diverges from the Guidelines and/or a Recommendation may vote differently than other Portfolio Management Teams that did not seek to override that vote. In forming their views on particular matters, the Portfolio Management Teams are also permitted to consider applicable regional rules and practices, including codes of conduct and other guides, regarding proxy voting, in addition to the Guidelines and Recommendations. The Investment Adviser may hire other service providers to replace or supplement the Proxy Service with respect to any of the services the Investment Adviser currently receives from the Proxy Service.

 

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GSAM conducts periodic due diligence meetings with the Proxy Service which include, but are not limited to, a review of the Proxy Service’s general organizational structure, new developments with respect to research and technology, work flow improvements and internal due diligence with respect to conflicts of interest.

From time to time, the Investment Adviser may face regulatory, compliance, legal or logistical limits with respect to voting securities that it may purchase or hold for client accounts, which can affect the Investment Adviser’s ability to vote such proxies, as well as the desirability of voting such proxies. Among other limits, federal, state and foreign regulatory restrictions or company specific ownership limits, as well as legal matters related to consolidated groups, may restrict the total percentage of an issuer’s voting securities that the Investment Adviser can hold for clients and the nature of the Investment Adviser’s voting in such securities. The Investment Adviser’s ability to vote proxies may also be affected by, among other things: (i) late receipt of meeting notices; (ii) requirements to vote proxies in person: (iii) restrictions on a foreigner’s ability to exercise votes; (iv) potential difficulties in translating the proxy; (v) requirements to provide local agents with unrestricted powers of attorney to facilitate voting instructions; and (vi) requirements that investors who exercise their voting rights surrender the right to dispose of their holdings for some specified period in proximity to the shareholder meeting.

The Investment Adviser has adopted policies and procedures designed to prevent conflicts of interest from influencing its proxy voting decisions that the Investment Adviser makes on behalf of a client account. These policies and procedures include the Investment Adviser’s use of the Guidelines and Recommendations from the Proxy Service, the override approval process previously discussed, and the establishment of information barriers between the Investment Adviser and other businesses within The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Notwithstanding such proxy voting policies and procedures, actual proxy voting decisions of the Investment Adviser may have the effect of benefitting the interests of other clients or businesses of other divisions or units of Goldman Sachs and/or its affiliates.

Voting decisions with respect to fixed income securities and the securities of privately held issuers generally will be made by the Fund’s managers based on their assessment of the particular transactions or other matters at issue.

Information regarding how the Fund voted proxies relating to portfolio securities during the most recent 12-month period ended June 30 will be available on or through the Fund’s website at www.gsam.com/content/gsam/us/en/advisors/resources/client- service/proxyvoting.html without charge and on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

PAYMENTS TO OTHERS (INCLUDING INTERMEDIARIES)

The Investment Adviser, Distributor and/or their affiliates may make payments to Intermediaries from time to time to promote the sale, distribution and/or servicing of shares of the Fund, except that the Investment Adviser, Distributor and their affiliates do not make such payments on behalf of Class R6 Shares. These payments (“Additional Payments”) are made out of the Investment Adviser’s, Distributor’s and/or their affiliates’ own assets (which may come directly or indirectly from fees paid by the Fund), are not an additional charge to the Fund or its shareholders, and do not change the price paid by investors for the purchase of the Fund’s shares or the amount the Fund receives as proceeds from such purchases. Although paid by the Investment Adviser, Distributor, and/or their affiliates, the Additional Payments are in addition to the distribution and service fees paid by the Fund to the Intermediaries as described in the Fund’s Prospectuses and this SAI, and are also in addition to the sales commissions payable to Intermediaries as set forth in the Prospectuses. For purposes of this “Payments to Others (Including Intermediaries)” section, “Funds” shall mean, collectively, the Fund and any of the other Goldman Sachs Funds.

The Additional Payments are intended to compensate Intermediaries for, among other things: marketing shares of the Funds, which may consist of payments relating to funds included on preferred or recommended fund lists or in certain sales programs from time to time sponsored by the Intermediaries; “due diligence” examination and/or review of the Funds from time to time; access to the Intermediaries’ registered representatives or salespersons, including at conferences and other meetings; assistance in training and education of personnel; “finders” or “referral fees” for directing investors to the Funds; marketing support fees for providing assistance in promoting the sale of Fund shares (which may include promotions in communications with the Intermediaries’ customers, registered representatives and salespersons); the support or purchase of technology platforms/software offered by the Investment Adviser, Distributor and/or their affiliates or third parties (which may be used by Intermediaries to provide advisory and/or brokerage services to their customers); and/or other specified services intended to assist in the distribution and marketing of the Funds. In addition, the Investment Adviser, Distributor and/or their affiliates may make Additional Payments (including through sub-transfer agency and networking agreements) for subaccounting, administrative and/or shareholder processing services that are in addition to the transfer agent, shareholder administration, servicing and processing fees paid by the Funds. These Additional Payments may exceed amounts earned on these assets by the Investment Adviser, Distributor and/or their affiliates for the performance of these or similar services. The Additional Payments may be a fixed dollar amount; may be based on the number of customer accounts

 

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maintained by an Intermediary; may be based on a percentage of the value of shares sold to, or held by, customers of the Intermediary involved; or may be calculated on another basis. The Additional Payments are negotiated with each Intermediary based on a range of factors, including but not limited to the Intermediary’s ability to attract and retain assets (including particular classes of Fund shares), target markets, customer relationships, quality of service and industry reputation. Although the individual components may be higher or lower and the total amount of Additional Payments made to any Intermediary in any given year will vary, the amount of these Additional Payments (excluding payments made through sub-transfer agency and networking agreements), on average, is normally not expected to exceed 0.50% (annualized) of the amount sold or invested through an Intermediary.

These Additional Payments may be significant to certain Intermediaries, and may be an important factor in an Intermediary’s willingness to support the sale of the Funds through its distribution system.

The Investment Adviser, Distributor and/or their affiliates may be motivated to make Additional Payments since they promote the sale of Fund shares to clients of Intermediaries and the retention of those investments by those clients. To the extent Intermediaries sell more shares of the Funds or retain shares of the Funds in their clients’ accounts, the Investment Adviser and Distributor benefit from the incremental management and other fees paid by the Funds with respect to those assets.

In addition, certain Intermediaries may have access to certain research and investment services from the Investment Adviser, Distributor and/or their affiliates. Such research and investment services (“Additional Services”) may include research reports; economic analysis; portfolio analysis, portfolio construction and similar tools and software; business planning services; certain marketing and investor education materials; and strategic asset allocation modeling. The Intermediary may not pay for these products or services or may only pay for a portion of the total cost of these products or services. The cost of the Additional Services and the particular services provided may vary from Intermediary to Intermediary.

The Additional Payments made by the Investment Adviser, Distributor and/or their affiliates or the Additional Services received by an Intermediary may vary with respect to the type of fund (e.g., equity, fund, fixed income fund, specialty fund, asset allocation portfolio or money market fund) sold by the Intermediary. In addition, the Additional Payment arrangements may include breakpoints in compensation which provide that the percentage rate of compensation varies as the dollar value of the amount sold or invested through an Intermediary increases.

The presence of these Additional Payments or Additional Services, the varying fee structure and the basis on which an Intermediary compensates its registered representatives or salespersons may create an incentive for a particular Intermediary, registered representative or salesperson to highlight, feature or recommend funds, including the Fund, or other investments based, at least in part, on the level of compensation paid. Additionally, if one mutual fund sponsor makes greater distribution payments than another, an Intermediary may have an incentive to recommend one fund complex over another. Similarly, if an Intermediary receives more distribution assistance for one share class versus another, that Intermediary may have an incentive to recommend that share class. Because Intermediaries may be paid varying amounts per class for sub-transfer agency and related recordkeeping services, the service requirements of which also may vary by class, this may create an additional incentive for financial firms and their financial advisors to favor one fund complex over another, or one fund class over another. You should consider whether such incentives exist when evaluating any recommendations from an Intermediary to purchase or sell Shares of the Fund and when considering which share class is most appropriate for you.

For the year ended December 31, 2019, the Investment Adviser, Distributor and their affiliates made Additional Payments out of their own assets to approximately 179 Intermediaries, totaling approximately $188.8 million (excluding payments made through sub- transfer agency and networking agreements and certain other types of payments described below), with respect to a Fund, Goldman Sachs Trust, all of the funds in an affiliated investment company, Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust, and Goldman Sachs Trust II. During the year ended December 31, 2019, the Investment Adviser, Distributor and/or their affiliates had contractual arrangements to make Additional Payments to the Intermediaries listed below (or their affiliates or successors), among others. This list will change over time, and any additions, modifications or deletions thereto that have occurred since December 31, 2019 are not reflected. Additional Intermediaries may receive payments in 2020 and in future years. Certain arrangements are still being negotiated, and there is a possibility that payments will be made retroactively to Intermediaries not listed below.

ADP Broker-Dealer, Inc. ADP LLC

ADP, Inc.

Allstate Life Insurance Company

Allstate Life Insurance Company of New York

Amalgamated Bank of Chicago

American Enterprise Investment Services, Inc. (AEIS)

American General Life Insurance Company

American National Trust and Investment Management Company dba Old National Trust Company (Oltrust & Co.)

American United Life Insurance Company

Ascensus, LLC.

Associated Trust Company, N.A.

AXA Equitable Holdings LLC

 

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Banc of America Securities LLC

BancorpSouth

Bank of New York

Bankers Trust Company

BB&T Capital Markets

BMO Harris Bank N.A.

BMO Nesbitt Burns

BNY Mellon National Association

BOSC, Inc.

Branch Banking and Trust Company

Brighthouse Life Insurance Company

Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.

C.M. Life Insurance Company

California Department of Human Resources

Cetera Financial Group

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Inc.

Citi Custody

Citibank N.A.

Citigroup Global Markets, Inc.

CME Shareholder Servicing LLC

Comerica Bank

Comerica Securities, Inc.

Commerce Bank Commerce Bank, N.A.

Commerce Trust Co.

Commonwealth Annuity and Life Insurance Company

Commonwealth Equity Services, Inc. dba Commonwealth Financial Network

Companion Life Insurance Company

Compass Bank

Computershare Trust Company, N.A.

Connecticut General Life Insurance Company

Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC

Dain Rauscher Inc.

Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas

Diversified Investment Advisors

Drexel Hamilton, LLC

Dubuque Bank & Trust

Edward D. Jones & Co., L.P.

Farmers New World Life Insurance Company

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC

Fidelity Investments Institutional Operations Company, Inc.

Fifth Third Bank

Fifth Third Securities Inc.

First Hawaiian Bank

First National Bank of Omaha

FIS Business Systems LLC

Forethought Life Insurance Company

Fulton Bank, N.A.

Fulton Financial Advisors, National Association

Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company

Genworth Life Insurance Company

Genworth Life Insurance Company of New York

GreatBanc Trust Co.

Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company

GWFS Equities, Inc.; GWFS Equities, Incorporated; GW Capital Management, LLC; Great-West Financial Retirement Plan

 

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Services, LLC; Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company; SunTrust Bank; Fifth Third Bank

Hartford Life Insurance Company

Hazeltree Fund Services, Inc.

Hewitt Associates LLC; Alight Solutions LLC Horace Mann Life Insurance Company

HSBC Bank U.S.A., N.A.

Hunt, Dupree & Rhine

Huntington Investment Company

ICMA RC-Services, LLC; ICMA Retirement Corporation; Matrix Financial Solutions; MSCS Financial Services Division of Broadridge Business Process Outsourcing, LLC; Matrix Trust Company; McCready and Keene, Inc; Wilmington Trust Retirement and Institutional Services Company; MSCS Financial Services, LLC

Institutional Cash Distributors (division of Merriman Curhan Ford & Co.)

Investmart, Inc.

Jefferies LLC

Jefferson National Life Insurance Company

Jefferson National Life Insurance Company of New York

Jefferson Pilot Financial Insurance Company

John Hancock Trust Company

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.

JPMorgan Securities, Inc

Key Bank N.A. LaSalle Bank, N.A.

Law Debenture Trust Company of New York

Lincoln Benefit Life Company

Lincoln Life & Annuity Company of New York

Lincoln Retirement Services Company, LLC

LPL Financial Corporation

LPL Financial LLC

M&I Brokerage Services, Inc.

M&I Data Services (division of The Marshall & Ilsley Corporation) M&T Bank

M&T Securities, Inc.

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company; MassMutual Retirement Services, LLC; MML Distributors, LLC

Members Life Insurance Company

Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated

Midland National Life Insurance Company

Minnesota Life Insurance Company

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC

MSCS Financial Services Division of Broadridge Business Process Outsourcing, LLC

National Financial Services LLC

National Financial Services LLC

National Security Life and Annuity Company

Nationwide Financial Services, Inc.

Newport Group, Inc.

Newport Retirement Services, Inc.

Ohio National Equities, Inc.

Oppenheimer & Co. Inc.

Pershing LLC PNC Bank, N.A.

PNC Bank, National Organization

PNC Capital Markets LLC PNC Investments LLC

Principal Life Insurance Company

Protective Life Insurance Company

PruCo Life Insurance Company

PruCo Life Insurance Company of New Jersey

 

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Raymond James & Associates, Inc.

Raymond James Financial Services RBC Capital Markets, LLC

Regions Bank

Reliance Trust Company

Reliance Trust Company; Daily Access Concepts

RiverSource Life Insurance Co. of New York

RiverSource Life Insurance Company

Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated

Scott & Stringfellow

Security Benefit Life Insurance Company

Security Distributors, Inc. Signature Bank

State Street Bank and Trust Company

State Street Global Markets, LLC

Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (U.S.)

Sun Life Insurance and Annuity Company of New York

Sungard Institutional Brokerage, Inc.

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc. Synovus Securities

T. Rowe Price Retirement Plan Services, Inc.

TD Bank National Association

Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America

The Glenmede Trust Company N.A.

The Guardian Insurance & Annuity Company, Inc.

The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company

The Ohio National Life Insurance Company

The Prudential Insurance Company of America

The Prudential Insurance Company of America

The Travelers Insurance Company

The Travelers Life and Annuity Company

The United States Life Insurance Company in the City of New York

The Vanguard Group, Inc.

The Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company

Transamerica Financial Life Insurance Company

Transamerica Life Insurance Company

Treasury Curve, LLC

Trustmark National Bank U.S. Bank, N.A.

UBS Financial Services Inc. Union Bank, N.A.

United of Omaha Life Insurance Company

VALIC Retirement Services Company

Voya Financial Partners, LLC

Voya Institutional Plan Services, LLC

Voya Retirement Advisors, LLC

Voya Retirement Insurance and Annuity Company

Wachovia Capital Markets, LLC

Wells Fargo Bank

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC.

Wells Fargo Corporate Trust Services

Zions Bank

Zurich American Life Insurance Company

Your Authorized Dealer or other Intermediary may charge you additional fees or commissions other than those disclosed in the Prospectuses. Shareholders should contact their Authorized Dealer or other Intermediary for more information about the Additional Payments or Additional Services they receive and any potential conflicts of interest, as well as for information regarding any fees and/or commissions it charges. For additional questions, please contact Goldman Sachs Funds at 1-800-621-2550.

Not included on the list above are other subsidiaries of Goldman Sachs who may receive revenue from the Investment Adviser, Distributor and/or their affiliates through intra-company compensation arrangements and for financial, distribution, administrative and operational services.

 

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Furthermore, the Investment Adviser, Distributor and/or their affiliates may, to the extent permitted by applicable regulations, sponsor various trainings and educational programs and reimburse investors for certain expenses incurred in connection with accessing the Funds through portal arrangements. The Investment Adviser, Distributor and their affiliates may also pay for the travel expenses, meals, lodging and entertainment of Intermediaries and their salespersons and guests in connection with educational, sales and promotional programs subject to applicable FINRA regulations. Other compensation may also be offered from time to time to the extent not prohibited by applicable federal or state laws or FINRA regulations. This compensation is not included in, and is made in addition to, the Additional Payments described above.

OTHER INFORMATION

Selective Disclosure of Portfolio Holdings Information and Portfolio Characteristics Information

The Board of Trustees of the Trust and the Investment Adviser have adopted a policy on the selective disclosure of portfolio holdings information and portfolio characteristics information. The policy seeks to (1) ensure that the disclosure of portfolio holdings information and portfolio characteristics information is in the best interest of Fund shareholders; and (2) address the conflicts of interest associated with the disclosure of portfolio holdings information and portfolio characteristics information. The policy provides that neither the Fund nor the Trust’s officers or Trustees, nor the Investment Adviser, Distributor or any agent, or any employee thereof (“Fund Representative”), will disclose the Fund’s portfolio holdings information or portfolio characteristics information to any person other than in accordance with the policy. For purposes of the policy, “portfolio holdings information” means the Fund’s actual portfolio holdings, as well as non-public information about its trading strategies or pending transactions. Portfolio holdings information does not include summary or statistical information which is derived from (but does not include) individual portfolio holdings (“portfolio characteristics information”).

Under the policy, neither the Fund nor any Fund Representative may solicit or accept any compensation or other consideration in connection with the disclosure of portfolio holdings information or portfolio characteristics information. The Fund Representative may generally provide portfolio holdings information and material portfolio characteristics information to third parties if such information has been included in the Fund’s public filings with the SEC or is disclosed on the Fund’s publicly accessible website or is otherwise publicly available.

Portfolio Holdings Information. Portfolio holdings information that is not filed with the SEC or disclosed on the Fund’s publicly available website may be provided to third parties (including, without limitation, individuals, institutional investors, intermediaries that sell shares of the Fund, consultants and third-party data providers) only for legitimate business purposes and only if the third-party recipients are required to keep all such portfolio holdings information confidential and are prohibited from trading on the information they receive in violation of the federal securities laws. Disclosure to such third parties must be approved in advance by the Investment Adviser’s legal or compliance department. Disclosure to providers of auditing, custody, proxy voting and other similar services; rating and ranking organizations; lenders and other third-party service providers that may obtain access to such information in the performance of their contractual duties to the Fund will generally be permitted. In general, each recipient of non-public portfolio holdings information must sign a confidentiality agreement and agree not to trade on the basis of such information in violation of the federal securities laws, although this requirement will not apply when the recipient is otherwise subject to a duty of confidentiality.

In accordance with the policy, the identity of those recipients who receive non-public portfolio holdings information on an ongoing basis is as follows: the Investment Adviser and its affiliates, the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm, the Fund’s custodian, the Fund’s legal counsel—Dechert LLP, the Fund’s tax service provider—Deloitte & Touche LLP, the Fund’s financial printer—Donnelley Financial Solutions Inc., the Fund’s proxy voting service—ISS, and the Fund’s class action processing service provider—Financial Recovery Technologies, LLC. KPMG LLP, an investor in the Fund, also receives certain non-public portfolio holdings information on an ongoing basis in order to facilitate compliance with the auditor independence requirements to which it is subject. In addition, certain Goldman Sachs Fixed Income Funds provide non-public portfolio holdings information to Standard & Poor’s to allow such Funds to be rated by it, and certain Goldman Sachs Equity Funds provide non-public portfolio holdings information to FactSet, a provider of global financial and economic information. These entities are obligated to keep such information confidential. Third-party providers of custodial services to the Fund may release non-public portfolio holdings information of the Fund only with the permission of certain Fund Representatives. From time to time portfolio holdings information may be provided to broker-dealers, prime brokers, FCMs or derivatives clearing merchants in connection with the Fund’s portfolio trading activities. In providing this information, reasonable precautions, including, but not limited to, the execution of a non-disclosure agreement and limitations on the scope of the portfolio holdings information disclosed, are taken to avoid any potential misuse of the disclosed information. All marketing materials prepared by the Trust’s principal underwriter are reviewed by Goldman Sachs’ Compliance department for consistency with the policy.

The Fund currently intends to publish complete portfolio holdings on the Trust’s website (http://www.gsamfunds.com) as of the end of each calendar quarter, subject to a 60 day lag between the date of the information and the date on which the information is disclosed. In addition, the Fund currently intends to post selected portfolio holdings information as of the end of each month on the Trust’s website subject to a 15 calendar day lag between the date of the information and the date on which the information is disclosed. The Fund may publish on the website complete portfolio holdings information more frequently if it has a legitimate business purpose for doing so. Operational disruptions and other systems disruptions may delay the posting of this information on the Trust’s website.

 

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The Fund files portfolio holdings information within 60 days after the end of each fiscal quarter on Form N-PORT. Portfolio holdings information for the third month of each fiscal quarter will be publicly available on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov. The Fund’s complete schedule of portfolio holdings for the second and fourth quarters of each fiscal year is included in its semi-annual and annual reports to shareholders, respectively, and is filed with the SEC on Form N-CSR. A semi-annual or annual report for the Fund will become available to investors within 60 days after the period to which it relates. The Fund’s Forms N-PORT and Forms N-CSR are available on the SEC’s website listed above.

Portfolio Characteristics Information. Material portfolio characteristics information that is not publicly available (e.g., information that is not filed with the SEC or disclosed on the Fund’s publicly available website) or calculated from publicly available information may be provided to third parties only if the third-party recipients are required to keep all such portfolio characteristics information confidential and are prohibited from trading on the information they receive in violation of the federal securities laws. Disclosure to such third parties must be approved in advance by the Investment Adviser’s legal or compliance department, who must first determine that the Fund has a legitimate business purpose for doing so. In general, each recipient of material, non-public portfolio characteristics information must sign a confidentiality agreement and agree not to trade on the basis of such information in violation of the federal securities laws, although this requirement will not apply when the recipient is otherwise subject to a duty of confidentiality.

However, upon request, the Fund will provide certain non-public portfolio characteristics information to any (i) shareholder or (ii) non-shareholder (including, without limitation, individuals, institutional investors, intermediaries that sell shares of the Fund, consultants and third-party data providers) whose request for such information satisfies and/or serves a legitimate business purpose for the Fund. Examples of portfolio characteristics information include, but are not limited to, statistical information about the Fund’s portfolio. Portfolio characteristics information that is made available upon request would normally include:

 

   

Asset Allocation Information – The allocation of the Fund’s portfolio among asset classes, regions, countries, industries, sub-industries, sectors, sub-sectors, strategies or subadvisers; credit quality ratings; and weighted average market capitalization ranges.

 

   

Financial Characteristics Information – The financial characteristics of the Fund’s portfolio, such as alpha; beta; R-squared; Sharpe ratio; information ratio; standard deviation; tracking error; various earnings and price based ratios (e.g., price-to-earnings and price-to-book); value at risk (VaR); duration information; weighted-average maturity/life; portfolio turnover; attribution; and other aggregated risk statistics (e.g., aggregate liquidity classification information).

In accordance with the policy, this type of portfolio characteristics information that is made available upon request will be disclosed in accordance with, and subject to the time lag indicated in, the schedule below. This portfolio characteristics information may be requested by calling Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC toll-free at 1-800-526-7384 (for Class A, Class C, Class R and Investor Shareholders) or 1-800-621-2550 (for Institutional, Service, Administration, Separate Account Institutional, Class R6 and Class P Shareholders). Portfolio characteristics information that is otherwise publicly available may be disclosed without these time lags.

The type and volume of portfolio characteristics information that is made available upon request will vary among the Goldman Sachs Funds (depending on the investment strategies and the portfolio management team of the applicable Fund). If portfolio characteristics information is disclosed to one recipient, it must also be disclosed to all other eligible recipients requesting the same information. However, under certain circumstances, the volume of portfolio characteristics information provided to one recipient may differ from the volume of portfolio characteristics information provided to other recipients.

 

Type of Information

  

When Available Upon Request

Portfolio Characteristics Information

 

(Except for Aggregate Liquidity

Classification Information)

  

Prior to 15 Business Days After Month-End: Cannot disclose without (i) a confidentiality agreement; (ii) an agreement not to trade on the basis of non-public information in violation of the federal securities laws; and (iii) legal or compliance approval.

 

15 Business Days After Month-End: May disclose to (i) shareholders and (ii) any non-shareholder whose request satisfies and/or serves a legitimate business purpose for the applicable Fund.

Aggregate Liquidity Classification Information   

Prior to 90 Calendar Days After Month-End: Cannot disclose without (i) a confidentiality agreement; (ii) an agreement not to trade on the basis of non-public information in violation of the federal securities laws; and (iii) legal or compliance approval.

 

90 Calendar Days After Month-End: May disclose to (i) shareholders and (ii) any non-shareholder whose request satisfies and/or serves a legitimate business purpose for the applicable Fund.

 

B-113


In addition, the Fund currently intends to publish certain portfolio characteristics information on the Trust’s website (http://www.gsamfunds.com) as of the end of each month or fiscal quarter, and such information will generally be subject to a 15 day lag. Operational disruptions and other systems disruptions may delay the posting of this information on the Trust’s website or the availability of this information by calling Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC at the toll-free numbers listed above.

Oversight of the Policy. Under the policy, Fund Representatives will periodically supply the Board of the Trustees with a list of third parties who receive non-public portfolio holdings information and material, non-public portfolio characteristics information pursuant to an ongoing arrangement subject to a confidentiality agreement and agreement not to trade on the basis of such information in violation of the federal securities laws. In addition, the Board receives information, on a quarterly basis, on such arrangements that were permitted during the preceding quarter. Under the policy, the Investment Adviser’s legal and compliance personnel authorize the disclosure of portfolio holdings information and portfolio characteristics information.

Disclosure of NAV per Share

The Fund’s current NAV per share is available through the Fund’s website at www.gsamfunds.com (except Class P Shares) or by contacting the Fund at 1-800-526-7384.

Miscellaneous

The Fund will redeem shares solely in cash up to the lesser of $250,000 or 1% of the NAV of the Fund during any 90-day period for any one shareholder. The Fund, however, reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to pay redemptions by a distribution in-kind of securities (instead of cash) if (i) the redemption exceeds the lesser of $250,000 or 1% of the NAV of the Fund at the time of redemption; or (ii) with respect to lesser redemption amounts, the redeeming shareholder requests in writing a distribution in-kind of securities instead of cash. The securities distributed in-kind would be readily marketable and would be valued for this purpose using the same method employed in calculating the Fund’s NAV per share. See “NET ASSET VALUE.” If a shareholder receives redemption proceeds in-kind, the shareholder should expect to incur transaction costs upon the disposition of the securities received in the redemption. In addition, if you receive redemption proceeds in-kind, you will be subject to market gains or losses upon the disposition of those securities.

The right of a shareholder to redeem shares and the date of payment by the Fund may be suspended for more than seven days for any period during which the NYSE is closed, other than the customary weekends or holidays, or when trading on such Exchange is restricted as determined by the SEC; or during any emergency, as determined by the SEC, as a result of which it is not reasonably practicable for the Fund to dispose of securities owned by it or fairly to determine the value of its net assets; or for such other period as the SEC may by order permit for the protection of shareholders of the Fund. (The Trust may also suspend or postpone the recordation of the transfer of shares upon the occurrence of any of the foregoing conditions.)

As stated in the Prospectuses, the Trust may authorize Intermediaries and other institutions that provide recordkeeping, reporting and processing services to their customers to accept on the Trust’s behalf purchase, redemption and exchange orders placed by or on behalf of their customers and, if approved by the Trust, to designate other intermediaries to accept such orders. These institutions may receive payments from the Trust or Goldman Sachs for their services. Certain Intermediaries or other institutions may enter into sub- transfer agency agreements with the Trust or Goldman Sachs with respect to their services.

In the interest of economy and convenience, the Trust does not issue certificates representing the Fund’s shares. Instead, the Transfer Agent maintains a record of each shareholder’s ownership. Each shareholder receives confirmation of purchase and redemption orders from the Transfer Agent. Fund shares and any dividends and distributions paid by the Fund are reflected in account statements from the Transfer Agent.

The Prospectuses and this SAI do not contain all the information included in the Registration Statement filed with the SEC under the 1933 Act with respect to the securities offered by the Prospectuses. Certain portions of the Registration Statement have been omitted from the Prospectuses and this SAI pursuant to the rules and regulations of the SEC.

Statements contained in the Prospectuses or in this SAI as to the contents of any contract or other document referred to are not necessarily complete, and, in each instance, reference is made to the copy of such contract or other document filed as an exhibit to the Registration Statement of which the Prospectuses and this SAI form a part, each such statement being qualified in all respects by such reference.

 

B-114


Line of Credit

As of December 31, 2019, the Fund participated in a $580,000,000 committed, unsecured revolving line of credit facility together with other funds of the Trust and registered investment companies having management or investment advisory agreements with GSAM or its affiliates. This facility is to be used for temporary emergency purposes or to allow for an orderly liquidation of securities to meet redemption requests, which may include the funding of redemptions. The interest rate on borrowings is based on the federal funds rate. The facility also requires a fee to be paid by the Fund based on the amount of the commitment that has not been utilized. During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, the Fund did not have any borrowings under the facility.

Large Trade Notifications

The Transfer Agent may from time to time receive notice that an Intermediary has received a purchase, redemption or exchange order for a large trade in the Fund’s shares. The Fund may determine to enter into portfolio transactions in anticipation of that order, even though the order may not have been processed at the time the Fund entered into such portfolio transactions. This practice provides for a closer correlation between the time shareholders place large trade orders and the time the Fund enters into portfolio transactions based on those orders, and may permit the Fund to be more fully invested in investment securities, in the case of purchase orders, and to more orderly liquidate its investment positions, in the case of redemption orders. The Intermediary may not, however, ultimately process the order. In this case, (i) if the Fund enters into portfolio transactions in anticipation of an order for a large redemption of Fund shares; or (ii) if the Fund enters into portfolio transactions in anticipation of an order for a large purchase of Fund shares and such portfolio transactions occur on the date on which the Intermediary indicated that such order would occur, the Fund will bear any borrowing, trading overdraft or other transaction costs or investment losses resulting from such portfolio transactions. Conversely, the Fund would benefit from any earnings and investment gains resulting from such portfolio transactions.

Corporate Actions

From time to time, the issuer of a security held in the Fund’s portfolio may initiate a corporate action relating to that security. Corporate actions relating to equity securities may include, among others, an offer to purchase new shares, or to tender existing shares, of that security at a certain price. Corporate actions relating to debt securities may include, among others, an offer for early redemption of the debt security, or an offer to convert the debt security into stock. Certain corporate actions are voluntary, meaning that the Fund may only participate in the corporate action if it elects to do so in a timely fashion. Participation in certain corporate actions may enhance the value of the Fund’s investment portfolio. In cases where the Fund or its Investment Adviser receives sufficient advance notice of a voluntary corporate action, the Investment Adviser will exercise its discretion, in good faith, to determine whether the Fund will participate in that corporate action. If the Fund or its Investment Adviser does not receive sufficient advance notice of a voluntary corporate action, the Fund may not be able to timely elect to participate in that corporate action. Participation or lack of participation in a voluntary corporate action may result in a negative impact on the value of the Fund’s investment portfolio.

OTHER INFORMATION REGARDING MAXIMUM

SALES CHARGE, PURCHASES,

REDEMPTIONS, EXCHANGES AND DIVIDENDS

(Class A and Class C Shares Only)

The following information supplements the information in the applicable Prospectus under the captions “Shareholder Guide” and “Distributions.” Please see the applicable Prospectus for more complete information.

Maximum Sales Charges

Class A Shares of the Fund are sold at a maximum sales charge of 5.50%. Using the NAV per share, as of December 31, 2019, the maximum offering price of the Fund’s Class A Shares would be as follows:

 

     Net Asset
Value
     Offering Price
To Public
     Maximum
Sales Charge
 

Goldman Sachs Dynamic Global Equity Fund

   $ 19.32      $ 20.44        5.50

The actual sales charge that is paid by an investor on the purchase of Class A Shares may differ slightly from the sales charge listed above or in the applicable Prospectus due to rounding in the calculations. The actual sales charge that is paid by an investor will be rounded to two decimal places. As a result of such rounding in the calculations, the actual sales load paid by an investor may be somewhat greater (e.g., 5.53% for Class A Shares) or somewhat lesser (e.g., 5.48% for Class A Shares) than that listed above or in the applicable Prospectus. Contact your financial advisor for further information.

 

B-115


Other Purchase Information/Sales Charge Waivers

The sales charge waivers of the Fund’s shares described in “Shareholder Guide-Common Questions Applicable to the Purchase of Class A Shares” in the applicable Prospectus are due to the nature of the investors involved and/or the reduced sales effort that is needed to obtain such investments.

If shares of the Fund are held in an account with an Intermediary, all recordkeeping, transaction processing and payments of distributions relating to the beneficial owner’s account will be performed by the Intermediary, and not by the Fund and its Transfer Agent. Because the Fund will have no record of the beneficial owner’s transactions, a beneficial owner should contact the Intermediary to purchase, redeem or exchange shares, to make changes in or give instructions concerning the account or to obtain information about the account. The transfer of shares in a “street name” account with one Intermediary to an account with another Intermediary or to an account directly with the Fund involves special procedures and will require the beneficial owner to obtain historical purchase information about the shares in the account from the Intermediary.

Right of Accumulation

A Class A shareholder qualifies for cumulative quantity discounts if the current purchase price of the new investment plus the shareholder’s current holdings of existing Class A and/or Class C Shares (acquired by purchase or exchange) of the Fund and Class A and/or Class C Shares of any other Goldman Sachs Fund total the requisite amount for receiving a discount. For example, for certain Funds, if a shareholder owns shares with a current market value of $65,000 and purchases additional Class A Shares of any Goldman Sachs Fund with a purchase price of $45,000, the sales charge for the $45,000 purchase would be 3.75% (the rate applicable to purchases of $100,000 but less than $250,000 for certain of the Funds). Class A and/or Class C Shares of the Fund and any other Goldman Sachs Fund purchased (i) by an individual, his spouse, his parents and his children, and (ii) by a trustee, guardian or other fiduciary of a single trust estate or a single fiduciary account, will be combined for the purpose of determining whether a purchase will qualify for such right of accumulation and, if qualifying, the applicable sales charge level. For purposes of applying the right of accumulation, shares of the Fund and any other Goldman Sachs Fund purchased by an existing client of Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management or GS Ayco Holding LLC will be combined with Class A and/or Class C Shares and other assets held by all other Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management accounts or accounts of GS Ayco Holding LLC, respectively. In addition, Class A and/or Class C Shares of the Fund and Class A and/or Class C Shares of any other Goldman Sachs Fund purchased by partners, directors, officers or employees of the same business organization, groups of individuals represented by and investing on the recommendation of the same accounting firm, certain affinity groups or other similar organizations (collectively, “eligible persons”) may be combined for the purpose of determining whether a purchase will qualify for the right of accumulation and, if qualifying, the applicable sales charge level. This right of accumulation is subject to the following conditions: (i) the business organization’s or group’s or firm’s agreement to cooperate in the offering of the Fund’s shares to eligible persons; and (ii) notification to the Fund at the time of purchase that the investor is eligible for this right of accumulation. In addition, in connection with SIMPLE IRA accounts, cumulative quantity discounts are available on a per plan basis if (i) your employee has been assigned a cumulative discount number by Goldman Sachs; and (ii) your account, alone or in combination with the accounts of other plan participants also invested in Class A and/or Class C Shares of Goldman Sachs Funds, totals the requisite aggregate amount as described in the applicable Prospectus.

Statement of Intention - (Class A)

If a shareholder anticipates purchasing at least $50,000 of Class A Shares of the Fund alone or in combination with Class A Shares of any other Goldman Sachs Fund within a 13-month period, the shareholder may purchase shares of the Fund at a reduced sales charge by submitting a Statement of Intention (the “Statement”). Shares purchased pursuant to a Statement will be eligible for the same sales charge discount that would have been available if all of the purchases had been made at the same time. The shareholder or his Intermediary must inform Goldman Sachs that the Statement is in effect each time shares are purchased. There is no obligation to purchase the full amount of shares indicated in the Statement. A shareholder may include the value of all Class A Shares on which a sales charge has previously been paid as an “accumulation credit” toward the completion of the Statement, but a price readjustment will be made only on Class A Shares purchased within ninety (90) days before submitting the Statement. The Statement authorizes the Transfer Agent to hold in escrow a sufficient number of shares which can be redeemed to make up any difference in the sales charge on the amount actually invested. For purposes of satisfying the amount specified on the Statement, the gross amount of each investment, exclusive of any appreciation on shares previously purchased, will be taken into account.

The provisions applicable to the Statement, and the terms of the related escrow agreement, are set forth in Appendix C to this SAI.

 

B-116


Cross-Reinvestment of Distributions

Shareholders may receive distributions in additional shares of the same class of the Fund in which they have invested or they may elect to receive them in cash or shares of the same class of other Goldman Sachs Funds, or Service Shares of the Goldman Sachs Financial Square Government Fund, if they hold Class A Shares of the Fund.

A Fund shareholder should obtain and read the prospectus relating to the other Goldman Sachs Fund and its shares and consider its investment objective, policies and applicable fees before electing cross-reinvestment into that Fund. The election to cross-reinvest distributions will not affect the tax treatment of such distributions, which will be treated as received by the shareholder and then used to purchase shares of the acquired fund. Such reinvestment of distributions in shares of other Goldman Sachs Funds is available only in states where such reinvestment may legally be made.

Automatic Exchange Program

A Fund shareholder may elect to exchange automatically a specified dollar amount of shares of the Fund for shares of the same class or an equivalent class of another Goldman Sachs Fund provided the minimum initial investment requirement has been satisfied. A Fund shareholder should obtain and read the prospectus relating to any other Goldman Sachs Fund and its shares and consider its investment objective, policies and applicable fees and expenses before electing an automatic exchange into that Goldman Sachs Fund.

Exchanges from Collective Investment Trusts to Goldman Sachs Funds

The Investment Adviser manages a number of collective investment trusts that hold assets of 401(k) plans and other retirement plans (each, a “Collective Investment Trust”). An investor in a Collective Investment Trust (or an Intermediary acting on behalf of the investor) may elect to exchange some or all of the interests it holds in a Collective Investment Trust for shares of one or more of the Goldman Sachs Funds. Generally speaking, Rule 22c-1 under the Act requires a purchase order for shares of a Goldman Sachs Fund to be priced based on the current NAV of the Goldman Sachs Fund that is next calculated after receipt of the purchase order. A Goldman Sachs Fund will treat a purchase order component of an exchange from an investor in a Collective Investment Trust as being received in good order at the time it is communicated to an Intermediary or the Transfer Agent, if the amount of shares to be purchased is expressed as a percentage of the value of the investor’s interest in a designated Collective Investment Trust that it is contemporaneously redeeming (e.g., if the investor communicates a desire to exchange 100% of its interest in a Collective Investment Trust for shares of a Goldman Sachs Fund). The investor’s purchase price and the number of Goldman Sachs Fund shares it will acquire will therefore be calculated as of the pricing of the Collective Investment Trust on the day of the purchase order. Such an order will be deemed to be irrevocable as of the time the Goldman Sachs Fund’s NAV is next calculated after receipt of the purchase order. An investor should obtain and read the prospectus relating to any Goldman Sachs Fund and its shares and consider its investment objective, policies and applicable fees and expenses before electing an exchange into that Goldman Sachs Fund. For federal income tax purposes, an exchange of interests in a Collective Investment Trust for shares of a Goldman Sachs Fund may be subject to tax, and you should consult your tax adviser concerning the tax consequences of an exchange.

Systematic Withdrawal Plan

A systematic withdrawal plan (the “Systematic Withdrawal Plan”) is available to shareholders of the Fund whose shares are worth at least $5,000. The Systematic Withdrawal Plan provides for monthly payments to the participating shareholder of any amount not less than $50.

Distributions on shares held under the Systematic Withdrawal Plan are reinvested in additional full and fractional shares of the Fund at NAV. The Transfer Agent acts as agent for the shareholder in redeeming sufficient full and fractional shares to provide the amount of the systematic withdrawal payment. The Systematic Withdrawal Plan may be terminated at any time. Goldman Sachs reserves the right to initiate a fee of up to $5 per withdrawal, upon thirty (30) days written notice to the shareholder. Withdrawal payments should not be considered to be dividends, yield or income. If periodic withdrawals continuously exceed new purchases and reinvested distributions, the shareholder’s original investment will be correspondingly reduced and ultimately exhausted. The maintenance of a withdrawal plan concurrently with purchases of additional Class A or Class C Shares would be disadvantageous because of the sales charge imposed on purchases of Class A Shares or the imposition of a CDSC on redemptions of Class A or Class C Shares. The CDSC applicable to Class A or Class C Shares redeemed under a systematic withdrawal plan may be waived. See “Shareholder Guide” in the applicable Prospectus. In addition, each withdrawal constitutes a redemption of shares, and any gain or loss realized must be reported for federal and state income tax purposes. A shareholder should consult his or her own tax adviser with regard to the tax consequences of participating in the Systematic Withdrawal Plan. For further information or to request a Systematic Withdrawal Plan, please write or call the Transfer Agent.

 

B-117


DISTRIBUTION AND SERVICE PLANS

(Class A, Class C and Class R Shares Only)

As described in the applicable Prospectus, the Trust has adopted, on behalf of Class A, Class C and Class R Shares of the Fund, distribution and service plans (collectively, the “Plans” and each individually, a “Plan”). See “Shareholder Guide – Distribution and Service Fees” in the applicable Prospectus. The distribution fees payable under the Plans are subject to Rule 12b-1 under the Act and finance distribution and other services that are provided to investors in the Fund and enable the Fund to offer investors the choice of investing in either Class A, Class C or Class R Shares when investing in the Fund. In addition, distribution fees payable under the Plans may be used to assist the Fund in reaching and maintaining asset levels that are efficient for the Fund’s operations and investments.

The Plans for Class A, Class C and Class R Shares of the Fund were most recently approved by a majority vote of the Trustees of the Trust, including a majority of the non-interested Trustees of the Trust who have no direct or indirect financial interest in the Plans, cast in person at meetings called for the purpose of approving the Plans on June 11-12, 2019 with respect to Class A, Class C and Class R Shares.

The compensation for distribution services payable under a Plan to Goldman Sachs may not exceed 0.25%, 0.75% and 0.50% per annum of the Fund’s average daily net assets attributable to Class A, Class C and Class R Shares, respectively. Under the Plan for Class C Shares, Goldman Sachs is also entitled to receive a separate fee for personal and account maintenance services equal on an annual basis to 0.25% of the Fund’s average daily net assets attributable to Class C Shares. With respect to Class A and Class R Shares, the Distributor at its discretion may use compensation for distribution services paid under the Plan for personal and account maintenance services and expenses so long as such total compensation under the Plan does not exceed the maximum cap on “service fees” imposed by FINRA.

Each Plan is a compensation plan which provides for the payment of a specified fee without regard to the expenses actually incurred by Goldman Sachs. If such fee exceeds Goldman Sachs’ expenses, Goldman Sachs may realize a profit from these arrangements. The distribution fees received by Goldman Sachs under the Plans and CDSCs (as applicable) on Class A, Class C and Class R Shares may be sold by Goldman Sachs as Distributor to entities which provide financing for payments to Intermediaries in respect of sales of Class A, Class C and Class R Shares. To the extent such fees are not paid to such dealers, Goldman Sachs may retain such fees as compensation for its services and expenses of distributing the Fund’s Class A, Class C and Class R Shares.

Under each Plan, Goldman Sachs, as Distributor of the Fund’s Class A, Class C and Class R Shares, will provide to the Trustees of the Trust for their review, and the Trustees of the Trust will review at least quarterly a written report of the services provided and amounts expended by Goldman Sachs under the Plans and the purposes for which such services were performed and expenditures were made.

The Plans will remain in effect until June 30, 2020 and from year to year thereafter, provided that such continuance is approved annually by a majority vote of the Trustees of the Trust, including a majority of the non-interested Trustees of the Trust who have no direct or indirect financial interest in the Plans. The Plans may not be amended to increase materially the amount of distribution compensation described therein without approval of a majority of the outstanding Class A, Class C or Class R Shares of the Fund and affected share class, but may be amended without shareholder approval to increase materially the amount of non-distribution compensation. All material amendments of a Plan must also be approved by the Trustees of the Trust in the manner described above. A Plan may be terminated at any time without payment of any penalty by a vote of a majority of the non-interested Trustees of the Trust or by vote of a majority of the Class A, Class C or Class R Shares, respectively, of the Fund and affected share class. If a Plan was terminated by the Trustees of the Trust and no successor plan was adopted, the Fund would cease to make payments to Goldman Sachs under the Plan and Goldman Sachs would be unable to recover the amount of any of its unreimbursed expenditures. So long as a Plan is in effect, the selection and nomination of non-interested Trustees of the Trust will be committed to the discretion of the non-interested Trustees of the Trust. The Trustees of the Trust have determined that in their judgment there is a reasonable likelihood that the Plans will benefit the Fund and its Class A, Class C and Class R shareholders.

For the fiscal years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, the distribution and service fees paid to Goldman Sachs by the Fund pursuant to the Class A, Class C and/or Class R Plans were as follows:

 

     Period Ended December 31, 2019  
     Class A Plan      Class C Plan      Class R Plan  

Goldman Sachs Dynamic Global Equity Fund

   $ 379,629      $ 211,228      $ 28,525  

 

 

B-118


     Period Ended December 31, 2018  
     Class A Plan      Class C Plan      Class R Plan  

Goldman Sachs Dynamic Global Equity Fund

   $ 347,321      $ 537,919      $ 26,620  

 

     Period Ended December 31, 2017  
     Class A Plan      Class C Plan      Class R Plan  

Goldman Sachs Dynamic Global Equity Fund

   $ 328,850      $ 705,625      $ 21,537  

During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, Goldman Sachs incurred the following expenses in connection with distribution under the Class A Plan of the Fund:

 

     Compensation
to Dealers1
     Compensation
and Expenses
of the
Distributor &
Its Sales
Personnel
     Allocable
Overhead,
Telephone
and Travel
Expenses
     Printing and
Mailing of
Prospectuses
to Other
than Current
Shareholders
     Preparation
And
Distribution

of Sales
Literature and
Advertising
     Totals  

Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2019:

                 

Goldman Sachs Dynamic Global Equity Fund

   $ 371,437      $ 0      $ 0      $ 0      $ 0      $ 371,437  

 

1 

Advance commissions paid to dealers of 1% on Class A Shares are considered deferred assets which are amortized over a period of one year or until redemption; amounts presented above reflect amortization expense recorded during the period presented in addition to payments remitted directly to dealers.

During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, Goldman Sachs incurred the following expenses in connection with distribution under the Class C Plan of the Fund:

 

     Compensation
to Dealers1
     Compensation
and Expenses
of the
Distributor &
Its Sales
Personnel
     Allocable
Overhead,
Telephone
and Travel
Expenses
     Printing and
Mailing of
Prospectuses
to Other
than Current
Shareholders
     Preparation
And
Distribution

of Sales
Literature and
Advertising
     Totals  

Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2019:

                 

Goldman Sachs Dynamic Global Equity Fund

   $ 190,153      $ 0      $ 0      $ 0      $ 0      $ 190,153  

 

1 

Advance Commissions paid to dealers of 1% on Class C Shares are considered deferred assets which are amortized over a period of one year; amounts presented above reflect amortization expense recorded during the period presented.

 

B-119


During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019 Goldman Sachs incurred the following expenses in connection with distribution under the Class R Plan of the Fund:

 

     Compensation
to Dealers1
     Compensation
and Expenses
of the
Distributor

& Its Sales
Personnel
     Allocable
Overhead,
Telephone
and Travel
Expenses
     Printing and
Mailing of
Prospectuses
to Other
than Current
Shareholders
     Preparation
And
Distribution of
Sales
Literature and
Advertising
     Totals  

Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2019:

                 

Goldman Sachs Dynamic Global Equity Fund

   $ 28,380      $ 0      $ 0      $ 0      $ 0      $ 28,380  

 

1 

Advance Commissions paid to dealers of 1% on Class R Shares are considered deferred assets which are amortized over a period of one year; amounts presented above reflect amortization expense recorded during the period presented.

SERVICE PLAN AND SHAREHOLDER ADMINISTRATION PLAN

(Service Shares Only)

The Trust, on behalf of the Fund, has adopted a service plan (the “Service Plan”) and a separate shareholder administration plan (the “Shareholder Administration Plan”) with respect to the Service Shares (collectively, the “Service Shares Plans”), which authorize the Fund to compensate Intermediaries for providing certain personal and account maintenance services and shareholder administration services to their customers who are or may become beneficial owners of such Shares. Pursuant to the Service Shares Plans, the Fund enters into agreements with Intermediaries which purchase Service Shares of the Fund on behalf of their customers (“Service Agreements”). Under such Service Agreements the Intermediaries may perform some or all of the following services:

(i) Personal and account maintenance services, including: (a) providing facilities to answer inquiries and respond to correspondence with customers and other investors about the status of their accounts or about other aspects of the Trust or the Fund; (b) acting as liaison between the Intermediary’s customers and the Trust, including obtaining information from the Trust and assisting the Trust in correcting errors and resolving problems; (c) providing such statistical and other information as may be reasonably requested by the Trust or necessary for the Trust to comply with applicable federal or state law; (d) responding to investor requests for prospectuses; (e) displaying and making prospectuses available on the Intermediary’s premises; and (f) assisting customers in completing application forms, selecting dividend and other account options and opening custody accounts with the Intermediary.

(ii) Shareholder administration services, including (a) acting or arranging for another party to act, as recordholder and nominee of the Service Shares beneficially owned by the Intermediary’s customers; (b) establishing and maintaining or assisting in establishing and maintaining individual accounts and records with respect to the Service Shares owned by each customer; (c) processing or assisting in processing confirmations concerning customer orders to purchase, redeem and exchange Service Shares; (d) receiving and transmitting or assisting in receiving and transmitting funds representing the purchase price or redemption proceeds of such Service Shares; (e) facilitating the inclusion of Service Shares in accounts, products or services offered to the Intermediary’s customers by or through the Intermediary; (f) processing dividend payments on behalf of customers; and (g) performing other related services which do not constitute “any activity which is primarily intended to result in the sale of shares” within the meaning of Rule 12b-1 under the Act or “personal and account maintenance services” within the meaning of FINRA’s Conduct Rules.

As compensation for such services, the Fund will pay each Intermediary a personal and account maintenance service fee and a shareholder administration service fee in an amount up to 0.25% and 0.25%, respectively (on an annualized basis), of the average daily net assets of the Service Shares of the Fund attributable to or held in the name of such Intermediary.

 

B-120


The amount of the service and shareholder administration fees paid by the Fund under the Plans to Intermediaries pursuant to the Service Shares Plans was as follows for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017:

 

     2019      2018      2017  

Goldman Sachs Dynamic Global Equity Fund

   $ 2,926      $ 3,258      $ 3,014  

The Fund have adopted the Service Plan but not the Shareholder Administration Plan pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the Act in order to avoid any possibility that service fees paid to the Intermediaries pursuant to the Service Agreements might violate the Act. Rule 12b-1, which was adopted by the SEC under the Act, regulates the circumstances under which an investment company or series thereof may bear expenses associated with the distribution of its shares. In particular, such an investment company or series thereof cannot engage directly or indirectly in financing any activity which is primarily intended to result in the sale of shares issued by the company unless it has adopted a plan pursuant to, and complies with the other requirements of, such Rule. The Trust believes that fees paid for the services provided in the Service Plan and described above are not expenses incurred primarily for effecting the distribution of Service Shares. However, should such payments be deemed by a court or the SEC to be distribution expenses, such payments would be duly authorized by the Service Plan. The Shareholder Administration Plan has not been adopted pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the Act.

Conflict of interest restrictions (including the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974) may apply to an Intermediary’s receipt of compensation paid by the Fund in connection with the investment of fiduciary assets in Service Shares of the Fund. Intermediaries, including banks regulated by the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve Board or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and investment advisers and other money managers subject to the jurisdiction of the SEC, the Department of Labor or state securities commissions, are urged to consult their legal advisers before investing fiduciary assets in Service Shares of the Fund. In addition, under some state securities laws, banks and other financial institutions purchasing Service Shares on behalf of their customers may be required to register as dealers.

The Trustees, including a majority of the Trustees who are not interested persons of the Trust and who have no direct or indirect financial interest in the operation of the Service Shares Plans or the related Service Agreements, most recently voted to approve the Service Shares Plans and related Service Agreements at a meeting called for the purpose of voting on such Service Shares Plans and Service Agreements on June 11-12, 2019. The Service Shares Plans and related Service Agreements will remain in effect until June 30, 2020 and will continue in effect thereafter only if such continuance is specifically approved annually by a vote of the Trustees in the manner described above. The Service Plan may not be amended (but the Shareholder Administration Plan may be amended) to increase materially the amount to be spent for the services described therein without approval of the Shareholders of the Fund’s Service Shares, and all material amendments of each Service Shares Plan must also be approved by the Trustees in the manner described above. The Service Shares Plans may be terminated at any time by a majority of the Trustees as described above or by a vote of a majority of the Fund’s outstanding Service Shares. The Service Agreements may be terminated at any time, without payment of any penalty, by vote of a majority of the Trustees as described above or by a vote of a majority of the outstanding Service Shares of the Fund on not more than sixty (60) days’ written notice to any other party to the Service Agreements. The Service Agreements will terminate automatically if assigned. So long as the Service Shares Plans are in effect, the selection and nomination of those Trustees who are not interested persons will be committed to the discretion of the Trust’s Governance and Nominating Committee, which consists of all of the non-interested members of the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees has determined that, in its judgment, there is a reasonable likelihood that the Service Shares Plans will benefit the Fund and the holders of Service Shares of the Fund.

During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, Goldman Sachs incurred the following expenses in connection with distribution under the Service Plan of the Fund:

 

Fiscal Year Ended

December 31, 2019

   Compensation
to Dealers
     Compensation
and Expenses
of the
Distributor

& Its Sales
Personnel
     Allocable
Overhead,
Telephone
and Travel
Expenses
     Printing and
Mailing of
Prospectuses
to Other
than Current
Shareholders
     Preparation
And
Distribution of
Sales
Literature and
Advertising
     Totals  

Goldman Sachs Dynamic Global Equity Fund

   $ 0      $ 0      $ 0      $ 0      $ 0      $ 0  

 

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CONTROL PERSONS AND PRINCIPAL HOLDERS OF SECURITIES

As of April 1, 2020, the following shareholders were shown in the Trust’s records as owning 5% or more of the Fund’s shares.

 

Class

 

Name/Address

  Percentage
of Class
 

Class A

  Edward D Jones & Co, For The Benefit Of Customers, 12555 Manchester Rd., Saint Louis, MO 63131-3729     16

Class A

  Wells Fargo Clearing Services LLC, Special Custody Account For The Exclusive Benefit Of Customer, 2801 Market St., Saint Louis, MO 63103-2523     12

Class A

  Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, For the Exclusive Benefit Of Its Customer, 1 New York Plaza Floor 12, New York NY 10004-1965     9

Class A

  Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith, For The Sole Benefit Of Its Customers, ATTN: Service Team, Goldman Sachs Funds, 4800 Deer Lake Dr. East 3rd Fl., Jacksonville, FL 32246-6484     8

Class A

  ADP/Broker Dealer Inc., State Street Bank and Trust as Trustee and/or Custodian For the Benefit Of ADP Access Product, 1 Lincoln St., Boston, MA 02111-2901     7

Class C

  Wells Fargo Clearing Services LLC, Special Custody Account For The Exclusive Benefit Of Customer, 2801 Market St., Saint Louis, MO 63103-2523     20

Class C

  Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, For the Exclusive Benefit Of Its Customer, 1 New York Plaza Floor 12, New York NY 10004-1965     8

Class C

  Goldman Sachs Direct Ex DLR Accts Sweeney & Associates Inc., Goldman Sachs/401k Plan, 38730 Sky Canyon Dr. Ste. C, Murrieta, CA 92563-2560     7

Institutional

  National Financial Services LLC, For the Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers, ATTN: Mutual Funds Dept. 4th Fl., 499 Washington Blvd., Jersey City, NJ 07310-1995     24

Institutional

  TD Ameritrade Clearing Inc., TD Ameritrade Inc., For the Exclusive Benefit of Our Clients, PO Box 2226, Omaha, NE 68103-2226     20

Institutional

  Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, For the Exclusive Benefit Of Its Customer, 1 New York Plaza Floor 12, New York NY 10004-1965     17

Institutional

  Wells Fargo Clearing Services LLC, Special Custody Account For The Exclusive Benefit Of Customer, 2801 Market St., Saint Louis, MO 63103-2523     8

Institutional

  RBC Capital Markets Corporation, RBC Capital Markets LLC, Mutual Fund Omnibus Processing, ATTN: Mutual Fund Ops Manager, 60 S 6th St., Ste. 700 # P08, Minneapolis, MN 55402-4413     8

Institutional

  Pershing LLC, PO Box 2052, Jersey City NJ 07303-2052     5

Institutional

  UBS Financial Services Inc., UBS WM USA, 0O0 11011 6100, Omni Account M/F SPEC Custody A/C EBOC UBSFSI, 1000 Harbor Blvd., Weehawken, NJ 07086-6761     5

Service

  Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith, For The Sole Benefit Of Its Customers, ATTN: Service Team, Goldman Sachs Funds, 4800 Deer Lake Dr. East 3rd Fl., Jacksonville, FL 32246-6484     38

Service

  National Financial Services LLC, For the Exclusive Benefit of Its Customers, ATTN: Mutual Funds Dept. 4th Fl., 499 Washington Blvd., Jersey City, NJ 07310-1995     27

Service

  Charles Schwab & Co Inc., Special Custody Account For Benefit Of Customers, ATTN: Mutual Funds, 211 Main St., San Francisco, CA 94105-1905     16

Service

  Wells Fargo Bank NA, Wells Fargo Bank FBO Various Retirement Plans, 1525 West WT Harris Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28288-1151     10

Service

  Charles Schwab & Co Inc., Special Custody Account For Benefit Of Customers, ATTN: Mutual Funds, 211 Main St., San Francisco, CA 94105-1905     8

Investor

  ADP/Broker Dealer Inc., State Street Bank and Trust as Trustee and/or Custodian For the Benefit Of ADP Access Product, 1 Lincoln St., Boston, MA 02111-2901     72

Investor

  Raymond James & Associates, Omnibus For Mutual Funds, 880 Carillon Parkway, St Petersburg, FL33716-1102     13

Investor

  LPL Financial Corporation, Omnibus Customer Account, ATTN: Mutual Fund Trading, 4707 Executive Dr., San Diego, CA 92121-3091     8

Class R

  ADP/Broker Dealer Inc., State Street Bank and Trust as Trustee and/or Custodian For the Benefit Of ADP Access Product, 1 Lincoln St., Boston, MA 02111-2901     100

 

B-122


   

Class R6

  Goldman Sachs Trust, State Street Bank & Trust Co. Cust. GS Growth & Income Strategy, GS Financial Sq. Government Fund C/O State Street Corporation, 2 Avenue de Lafayette Fl. 6 South, Boston, MA 02111-1888   41%

Class R6

  Goldman Sachs Trust, State Street Bank & Trust Co. Cust. GS Growth Strategy, GS Financial Sq. Government Fund C/O State Street Corporation, 2 Avenue de Lafayette Fl. 6 South, Boston, MA 02111-1888   40%

Class R6

  Goldman Sachs Trust, State Street Bank & Trust Co. Cust. GS Balanced Strategy, GS Financial Sq. Government Fund C/O State Street Corporation, 2 Avenue de Lafayette Fl. 6 South, Boston, MA 02111-1888   18%

Class P

  Goldman Sachs & Co, For the Benefit Of Omnibus, c/o Mutual Fund Ops, 222 S Main St., Salt Lake City, UT 84101-2199   100%

Except as listed above, the Trust does not know of any other person who owns of record or beneficially 5% or more of any class of the Fund’s shares.

 

B-123


APPENDIX A

DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES RATINGS

Short-Term Credit Ratings

An S&P Global Ratings short-term issue credit rating is a forward-looking opinion about the creditworthiness of an obligor with respect to a specific financial obligation having an original maturity of no more than 365 days. The following summarizes the rating categories used by S&P Global Ratings for short-term issues:

“A-1” – A short-term obligation rated “A-1” is rated in the highest category by S&P Global Ratings. The obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation is strong. Within this category, certain obligations are designated with a plus sign (+). This indicates that the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments on these obligations is extremely strong.

“A-2” – A short-term obligation rated “A-2” is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligations in higher rating categories. However, the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation is satisfactory.

“A-3” – A short-term obligation rated “A-3” exhibits adequate protection parameters. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to weaken an obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.

“B” – A short-term obligation rated “B” is regarded as vulnerable and has significant speculative characteristics. The obligor currently has the capacity to meet its financial commitments; however, it faces major ongoing uncertainties that could lead to the obligor’s inadequate capacity to meet its financial commitments.

“C” – A short-term obligation rated “C” is currently vulnerable to nonpayment and is dependent upon favorable business, financial, and economic conditions for the obligor to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.

“D” – A short-term obligation rated “D” is in default or in breach of an imputed promise. For non-hybrid capital instruments, the “D” rating category is used when payments on an obligation are not made on the date due, unless S&P Global Ratings believes that such payments will be made within any stated grace period. However, any stated grace period longer than five business days will be treated as five business days. The “D” rating also will be used upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of a similar action and where default on an obligation is a virtual certainty, for example due to automatic stay provisions. An obligation’s rating is lowered to “D” if it is subject to a distressed exchange offer.

Local Currency and Foreign Currency Ratings – S&P Global Ratings’ issuer credit ratings make a distinction between foreign currency ratings and local currency ratings. An issuer’s foreign currency rating will differ from its local currency rating when the obligor has a different capacity to meet its obligations denominated in its local currency, vs. obligations denominated in a foreign currency.

Moody’s Investors Service (“Moody’s”) short-term ratings are forward-looking opinions of the relative credit risks of financial obligations with an original maturity of thirteen months or less and reflect both on the likelihood of a default on contractually promised payments and the expected financial loss suffered in the event of default.

Moody’s employs the following designations to indicate the relative repayment ability of rated issuers:

“P-1” – Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Prime-1 have a superior ability to repay short-term debt obligations.

“P-2” – Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Prime-2 have a strong ability to repay short-term debt obligations.

“P-3” – Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Prime-3 have an acceptable ability to repay short-term obligations.

“NP” – Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Not Prime do not fall within any of the Prime rating categories.

Fitch, Inc. / Fitch Ratings Ltd. (“Fitch”) short-term issuer or obligation ratings are based in all cases on the short-term vulnerability to default of the rated entity and relates to the capacity to meet financial obligations in accordance with the documentation governing the relevant obligation. Short-term deposit ratings may be adjusted for loss severity. Short-Term Ratings are assigned to obligations whose initial maturity is viewed as “short term” based on market convention. Typically, this means up to 13 months for corporate, sovereign, and structured obligations and up to 36 months for obligations in U.S. public finance markets.

 

 

1-A


The following summarizes the rating categories used by Fitch for short-term obligations:

“F1” – Securities possess the highest short-term credit quality. This designation indicates the strongest intrinsic capacity for timely payment of financial commitments; may have an added “+” to denote any exceptionally strong credit feature.

“F2” – Securities possess good short-term credit quality. This designation indicates good intrinsic capacity for timely payment of financial commitments.

“F3” – Securities possess fair short-term credit quality. This designation indicates that the intrinsic capacity for timely payment of financial commitments is adequate.

“B” – Securities possess speculative short-term credit quality. This designation indicates minimal capacity for timely payment of financial commitments, plus heightened vulnerability to near term adverse changes in financial and economic conditions.

“C” – Securities possess high short-term default risk. Default is a real possibility.

“RD” – Restricted Default. Indicates an entity that has defaulted on one or more of its financial commitments, although it continues to meet other financial obligations. Typically applicable to entity ratings only.

“D” – Default. Indicates a broad-based default event for an entity, or the default of a short-term obligation.

“NR” – This designation indicates that Fitch does not publicly rate the associated issuer or issue.

“WD” – This designation indicates that the rating has been withdrawn and is no longer maintained by Fitch.

DBRS® Ratings Limited (“DBRS”) short-term debt rating scale provides an opinion on the risk that an issuer will not meet its short-term financial obligations in a timely manner. Ratings are based on quantitative and qualitative considerations relevant to the issuer and the relative ranking of claims. The “R-1” and “R-2” rating categories are further denoted by the sub-categories “(high)”, “(middle)”, and “(low)”.

The following summarizes the ratings used by DBRS for commercial paper and short-term debt:

“R-1 (high)” – Short-term debt rated “R-1 (high)” is of the highest credit quality. The capacity for the payment of short- term financial obligations as they fall due is exceptionally high. Unlikely to be adversely affected by future events.

“R-1 (middle)” – Short-term debt rated “R-1 (middle)” is of superior credit quality. The capacity for the payment of short-term financial obligations as they fall due is very high. Differs from “R-1 (high)” by a relatively modest degree. Unlikely to be significantly vulnerable to future events.

“R-1 (low)” – Short-term debt rated “R-1 (low)” is of good credit quality. The capacity for the payment of short-term financial obligations as they fall due is substantial. Overall strength is not as favorable as higher rating categories. May be vulnerable to future events, but qualifying negative factors are considered manageable.

“R-2 (high)” – Short-term debt rated “R-2 (high)” is considered to be at the upper end of adequate credit quality. The capacity for the payment of short-term financial obligations as they fall due is acceptable. May be vulnerable to future events.

“R-2 (middle)” – Short-term debt rated “R-2 (middle)” is considered to be of adequate credit quality. The capacity for the payment of short-term financial obligations as they fall due is acceptable. May be vulnerable to future events or may be exposed to other factors that could reduce credit quality.

“R-2 (low)” – Short-term debt rated “R-2 (low)” is considered to be at the lower end of adequate credit quality. The capacity for the payment of short-term financial obligations as they fall due is acceptable. May be vulnerable to future events. A number of challenges are present that could affect the issuer’s ability to meet such obligations.

“R-3” – Short-term debt rated “R-3” is considered to be at the lowest end of adequate credit quality. There is a capacity for the payment of short-term financial obligations as they fall due. May be vulnerable to future events and the certainty of meeting such obligations could be impacted by a variety of developments.

“R-4” – Short-term debt rated “R-4” is considered to be of speculative credit quality. The capacity for the payment of short-term financial obligations as they fall due is uncertain.

“R-5” – Short-term debt rated “R-5” is considered to be of highly speculative credit quality. There is a high level of uncertainty as to the capacity to meet short-term fin